Twitter will soon let advertisers pay for Twitter to suggest that people follow their accounts, said Twitter Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo.
Twitter launched a few money-making initiatives earlier this year. Promoted Tweets, which cost advertisers $100,000, and Trends let advertisers such as Starbucks pay to push their products in searches and trending topics to Twitter’s 160 million-plus users.
Another effort, the @earlybird e-commerce account, let vendors offer deals on movie tickets and other goods.
That didn’t work so well and Twitter is shelving it for now, said Costolo, who spoke at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mixx conference in New York.
Promoted Accounts will show users “Who to Follow” suggestion lists Twitter accounts advertisers have paid to promote.
The technology will leverage the same algorithm Twitter uses to suggest accounts that people should follow, based on interests they’ve shown in their Twitter activity.
The idea is to let businesses put their posts in front of followers every time they post to Twitter, building on the Promoted Tweets and Trends plays.
Advertisers pay when someone clicks on a link in the Twitter post, forwards the post to friends or replies to it.
Meanwhile, Twitter is tacking on 370,000 accounts each day. In August, the microblog passed MySpace in unique visitors, according to comScore.
Twitter had just shy of 96 million unique visitors in August compared to 95 million unique visitors on MySpace.
Twitter aims to build on its user base thanks to a new redesign that pops out media content, including links, photos and videos, right on the Twitter Web page when users click on tweets.