With a lot of unsold inventory and not enough advertisers to buy it, Twitter is trying to address its demand dilemma.
Over the summer, Twitter began testing a subscription-based ad-buying program through which brands could opt to pay Twitter $99 a month and have the company promote their accounts and tweets for them. Now the company is opening up the program to all accounts in the US and United Kingdom, including businesses and individuals, Twitter announced on Wednesday. Brands that use Sprout Social to manage their Twitter accounts will also be able to enroll, and the company eventually plans to open it up to accounts in Japan.
The program is aimed at businesses and individuals with small followings who are looking to grow their presences on Twitter. “On average accounts will reach 30,000 additional people and add 30 followers each month,” according to the program’s help section on Twitter’s site. The program marks Twitter’s subscription-based ad product, but may not be its only one for long. According to the help section, “in the future, higher price and promotion tiers will be available for people with larger followings.”
Other than a name change to Promote Mode, the subscription-based ad program is largely unchanged from the version Twitter began testing over the summer. It still costs $99 a month. In return for that money, Twitter will still run up to the first 10 tweets an account posts each day (not including retweets, quote tweets and replies) as Promoted Tweets as well as Promoted Account ads. Advertisers still cannot pick which tweets get promoted as ads. Advertisers still can only target their ads based on people’s interest or the metro area or region in which they are located, but they cannot use the two targeting categories simultaneously.
However, some things have changed.
First, participating advertisers can opt to pause their campaigns so that any organic tweets sent while on pause will not be eligible for promotion until Promote Mode is unpaused.
Second, brands that enroll in Promote Mode will still be able to buy ads through Twitter’s self-serve ad-buying tool; if a tweet is promoted by Twitter through Promote Mode and also run as a targeted ad through Twitter’s Ads Manager, the two ads will be treated as separate campaigns, according to a Twitter spokesperson.
Third, Twitter is incorporating Promote Mode into its mobile apps. It’s available through its in-app menu; tapping the icon will open a dashboard outlining how Promote Mode campaigns have performed so far that month. Advertisers can see how many people they reached, how many followers they added and how many people checked out their profiles.