Twitter has begun to allow targeted advertising on the microblogging site based on the words used in various tweets and messages posted, favourited and retweeted.
Advertising on Twitter currently works by using algorithms to pool user interests and direct “promoted” tweets at the top of news feeds to all Twitter users.
Now, the new advertising feature will enable “advertisers to reach users based on the keywords in their recent tweets and the tweets with which users recently engaged,” said Twitter produce manager Nipoon Malhotra in a blog post.
“This is an important new capability –especially for those advertisers looking for signals of intent – because it lets marketers reach users at the right moment, in the right context.”
The new function will also target the ads according to other user attributes like gender, location and what device they are accessing Twitter from.
“Users won’t see any difference in their use of Twitter – we’re not showing ads more frequently in timelines, and users can still dismiss promoted tweets they don’t find relevant. In fact, we believe users’ experience with ads will improve as a result of this feature as they see more relevant Promoted Tweets,” added Malhotra.
According to industry tracker eMarketer, Twitter is expected to earn $582.2 million (£382.2 million) in annual global ad revenue, with the figure set to increase to nearly $1 billion (£656.6 million) by next year.
As an example, Malhotra suggested that a gig venue could run a geotargeted campaign for various concerts, targeting advertising tweets providing a link to buy tickets at any users mentioning keywords for those bands.
The example Malhotra uses is quite a topical one for Twitter, who is reportedly launching a Twitter Music app sometime soon.
Such an app could recommend artists and tracks to users based on factors such as the Twitter accounts they followed, similar to the way the advertising feature works. It could be possible to listen to music clips within the app through third party music services like iTunes and Soundcloud.