Twitter opens up advertising floodgates (to U.S. businesses)

After a year of testing, Twitter has opened up its improved ad platform to all U.S. businesses. Now what about the rest of the world?

Twitter has ended its invite-only policy and opened up its self-serve ad platform to all businesses in the United States.

Kevin Weil, Twitter's senior director of product for revenue, made the announcement today at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. The new policy was also posted on Twitter's advertising blog.

Twitter Ads is a self-service tool designed to help businesses, which probably already have a presence on the social networking site, interact with current customers and market to new ones. Twitter opened its ad platform to select small businesses last March.

After a year of development, Twitter rolled out improvements based on feedback from its users, including better analytics and reporting.

The ad platform offers businesses two options: promoted accounts and promoted tweets. Under promoted accounts, Twitter looks at the company's current followers and then searches for people with similar interests. When it finds a match, Twitter recommends the business in the "who to follow" section.

With promoted tweets, Twitter monitors your activity and then promotes the best tweets.

Businesses using the ad platform only pay when someone follows their account (via promoted accounts) or engages their promoted tweet. Businesses can adjust the ad settings to reach customers in specific geographic areas.

Twitter didn't say when it might open up its ad service to the rest of the world, where a hefty chunk of its registered users reside. It's been awhile since Twitter provided a breakdown of user figures. Analyst group Semiocast said Twitter had 517 million accounts as of July 1, 2012, with 141.8 million of those in the U.S.

Photo: Twitter

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