Twitter made good on its promise of opening up its ad platform to small businesses, via a self-serve program. Now, the first stage of that program is live as businesses, with American Express cards, can now sign up and start promoting their tweets and their accounts.
Only a few businesses will be part of the program at first and they have to be pre-selected, registration is not open to everyone, yet. It's probably going to be a few months until it is.
"Today, American Express will begin to notify eligible Cardmembers and merchants that they can now start advertising on Twitter," Twitter explained.
"Initially, only a small group of businesses will have access to this new advertising opportunity — we will steadily increase the number of participating small businesses over the coming weeks," it added.
Businesses will be able to use Twitter's ad products on their own without the need to consult with a sales representative. The tools are rather easy to use as well, if only because the actual ads are simple.
Small businesses will be able to promote tweets they believe are worthy of spreading, via the Promoted Tweets ad. The selected tweets can show up in search results and in the timeline of followers or people that share the followers’ interests.
The other main type of ads is Promoted Accounts. As the name suggests, companies can choose to promote their accounts more prominently, in the hope of getting more followers, and pay Twitter for the privilege.
Users will pay per follower for Promoted Accounts and per engagement, meaning a click, a retweet, a reply or a favorite, for Promoted Tweets. Ads can also be targeted at certain US regions, countries or worldwide.
Twitter is working on improving ad revenue, which is rather minuscule for a company valued at several billions of dollars. Opening up the platform to a lot more advertisers is one way of accomplishing that, but Twitter still has a long way to go.