Twitter launches self-serve advertising platform

E-Marketer estimates that 60 percent of Facebook’s $3.8 billion in global ad revenue comes from self-serve advertising. One year after it offering promoted tweets service, Twitter has finally launched its self-serve advertising platform.

As part of Twitter’s promoted tweets service, this would highly benefits small and medium sized companies to run their campaigns without going through twitter’s sales team. It is still in small test but is going to be big since Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the company plans to become a “huge, independent business” by focusing on advertising.


There are three kinds of ad forms Twitter provides. One is promoting tweet. An advertiser tweets their website link or a special offer. And then tell twitter that I want this tweet to be displayed when twitter users tap a certain key words into the search box. It does look like Google AdWords. An advanced option is called promoted retweet. An advertiser finds an influential friend or associate to retweet the original tweet. Then, the retweet will be promoted. The effect of retweet is unbelievable. I remembered that once I tweet a message that is retweeted by a somewhat influential people, I got one hundred followers and my information has been retweeted by hundreds of people. People will first get attracted by the famous person, then by your message.

The second one is for large companies, called promoted trends. This format is much like buying a sponsor for a message. Twitter will display the sponsor at the top of tweet trends on Twitter’s interface.

David Szetela of Clix Marketing said the third one would be highly controversial. Advertisers could buy followers through this promoted accounts service. Twitter would recommend certain users follow the advertiser based on some factors such as keywords. Actually, this service had existed in Chinese twitter, named “weibo”(microblogger), with even more direct format. People could buy followers directly without going through the process of recommendation. However, it is not officially exist. I think it is developed by some computer expertises.


Twitter is an easy way to set up a campaign. Advertisers could evaluate cost per engagement by calculating retweet, reply to the sponsor tweet, click and favorite tweet. And I strongly agree that it is a powerful and cost-efficient way to run a campaign.

Do you agree that Twitter’s view that its platform will generate more engagement per penny than Google AdWords after it goes on big scale?

Xuan Wang


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