Twitter Tests Self-Serve Platform With Advertisers

'Our goal is scale,' says company

Since launching its Promoted Tweets offering last year, Twitter has referenced plans for a self-serve product to further boost advertising efforts. It seems its moment has finally arrived.

The company said it started testing the self-service platform last month with fewer than 20 advertisers. With the new product, they can set up and run their own promoted products campaigns and pay with a credit card, Twitter said.

“Our goal for this year and next year is all about scale,” Twitter’s chief revenue officer Adam Bain said at Business Insider’s Ignition conference Wednesday. About 2,400 marketers use the platform, he said, and the company plans to learn from its small self-serve test and then roll it out to more advertisers.

At an event with reporters in September, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that the company plans to become a “huge, independent business” by focusing on advertising. A self-serve platform that allows advertisers to launch their own campaigns without going through Twitter’s sales team is a key component of that.

“This is an important step in continuing to grow Twitter’s business. Our Promoted Products can help small and medium-sized businesses build their audience on Twitter and better engage with the people they want to reach,” Twitter said in a statement. “As with all of our advertising efforts, we’re starting small, testing carefully and making improvements on as we learn what works. We will slowly roll this capability out to more advertisers in the coming weeks and months.”

According to research firm eMarketer, Twitter’s global ad revenues are predicted to grow 210 percent to $139.5 million in 2011 and reach $260 million in 2012. In 2010, its first full year of selling advertising, the company earned $45 million from advertising.

Highlighting the value of self-serve platforms, eMarketer estimates that 60 percent of Facebook’s $3.8 billion in global ad revenue comes from self-serve advertising.

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