Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Become A Pure Ad Product

twitter-new-logo-blueTwitter has announced a pretty substantial change to its Promoted Tweets ad product — it seems subtle, but it fundamentally changes what a Twitter ad is.

In a nutshell, Twitter advertisers no longer have to publish a standard tweet that’s visible to all followers before it becomes a Promoted Tweet. They can now specifically create ads and target Twitter users via the existing options available in the Promoted Tweets program — including geographic targeting and mobile vs. desktop targeting.

Twitter’s been testing this with companies like British Airways, which showed this ad only in the United Kingdom.


Prior to this launch, a Promoted Tweet was, first and foremost, an actual organic/natural tweet that first had to be posted to all of a company’s followers. After that, it could be turned into a Promoted Tweet.

That’s no longer the case. Advertisers can now create specific ads and target certain groups of users without first having to publish a tweet to all followers. It sounds like a subtle difference, but it’s a fundamental change in how advertisers can reach consumers on Twitter.

To encourage companies to make sure their targeted ads still look and act like regular tweets, Twitter says it will reward Promoted Tweets that resonate the most with users — those ads “are likely to appear more often.”

All Twitter advertisers that use Promoted Tweets have immediate access to the new targeting option.

Postscript: The article above was edited after the fact to correct the use of the word “followers” in describing who sees Promoted Tweets. In fact, Promoted Tweets may appear to Twitter users that are not following an advertiser. Twitter displays Promoted Tweets to users based on internal calculations of which users will find the ad most relevant.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Features & Analysis | Social Media Marketing | Social Media Marketing: Advertising | Top News | Twitter | Twitter: Advertising


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Jason Kamara

    Does Twitter have cost-effective price points for these promoted ads? I know they can be effective for large corporations, but I haven’t seen any for local businesses. Twitter would seem to have great potential for paid tweets from local businesses with the ability to specifically target mobile local users.

  • Ahmed Kotsh

    twitter brunch this site look to

  • miketempleton

    How are replies and retweets handled with this change if there’s no original tweet to match up with the actions?

    It’s also interesting to see Facebook moving away from pure advertisements and more toward promoting existing content. Who has the right idea?

  • Matt McGee

    Mike – the ad/tweet can still be retweeted, replied to, etc. after it’s published.

  • Tansu Uslu


  • Sun Rise

    How do you go about creating promotional tweets? What does this actually achieve though, surely if your posting to the followers you already have then it would be better to post to all of them instead of a select few?

  • Matt McGee

    We published a follow-up article today with some of the Washington Post’s results from this targeting:

    Might answer your second question.

  • Polash Kumar Das

    IT news is an it based online bangla news paper, it delivers today’s top technology stories and breaking IT news, you also get online bangla tutorial with video and Tips

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