According to Media Post, Twitter has begun testing a self-serve ad platform that it plans to roll out the first half of 2011. Advertisers are able to create two types of campaigns: Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts. Promoted Tweets will encourage users to engage with a specific Tweet while Promoted Accounts will aim to increase the number of followers for an account. Advertisers will be required to enter a date range, maximum budget and daily budget, similar to Facebook, Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. It also asks for “interests” and “search keywords” for targeting purposes.
Though unconfirmed by Twitter, it’s believed the Promoted Twitter algorithm crawls tweets and user bios looking for the defined keywords and inserts tweets into users’ timelines. Retweets can be also be Promoted, but Twitter requires confirmation that the person turning the Retweet into a Promoted Tweet has the authority to use it. The Promoted Account algorithm, on the other hand, looks at existing accounts that users follow to determine when to show an impression. When a match is made the Promoted Account is shown in the first position down the right rail of the users’ account.