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This article was published on October 4, 2010

Twitter launches Promoted Accounts

Twitter launches Promoted Accounts

Twitter has just announced Promoted Accounts. That’s right, users – currently select brands only – can now pay to promote their accounts to get more followers.

This is confirmation of our report last week that Twitter was ready to launch the service.

Twitter is including Promoted Accounts as part of “Suggestion for you” (as you can see in the image at right) and says that when there is “no relevant recommendation” – according to Twitter’s algorithm – then nothing will show.

Here’s what Twitter says on its blog:

Promoted Accounts are suggested based on a user’s public list of whom they follow. When an advertiser promotes an account, Twitter’s algorithm looks at that account’s followers and determines other accounts that those users tend to follow. If a user follows some of those accounts, but not the advertiser’s account, then Twitter may recommend the advertiser’s Promoted Account to that user. For example, a lot of people who follow several gaming-related accounts also follow @xbox. If someone follows gaming-related accounts, but not @xbox, Twitter may recommend @xbox to that person.

Twitter has also made some changes to Promoted Trends, putting them up at the top of trends (which was reported on earlier). Also, Promoted Tweets and Trends will start to show up outside of in the ecosystem, and Twitter will share revenue with partners/developers.

Twitter also said in the post that “We’re working with over 40 advertisers – nearly 80% of whom have already become repeat buyers in this short period of time,” so while the platform is still relatively small, it would seem to be sticky.

Twitter isn’t the first service twitter related service to use promoted accounts to drive followers. TNW Incubator’s own Twitter Counter uses promoted profiles to drive followers for its members – primarily used by individuals rather than brands – we can tell you first hand it’s a successful strategy.  Assuming the price points are reasonable and Twitter eventually opens this up to all, we could see a huge push from many people/brand to get more followers. That said, while it is a pretty accepted practice on Facebook at this point, how will Twitter user reaction play out with this news? What do you think? Please let us know in the comments!