Fourteen months after CEO Dick Costolo proclaimed his company would launch a self-service advertiser platform during 2011, Twitter has confirmed that select marketers began testing such a platform in November.
"Earlier [in November], Twitter began testing self-service advertising with a handful of existing advertisers," a spokesperson for the San Francisco-based Internet firm wrote in an e-mailed statement. "These advertisers can now set up and run their own Promoted Products campaigns and pay via a credit card, without working with our in-house staff…As with all of our advertising efforts, we're starting small, testing carefully and making improvements on [it] as we learn what works. We will slowly roll this capability out to more advertisers in the coming weeks and months."
Since Twitter launched Promoted Tweets in April 2010, marketers wanting to buy the ad units - or Promoted Trends or Promoted Accounts - have had to fill out an online form and wait for the site's sales team to contact them. A self-service platform - first mentioned by Costolo in September 2010 - would seem to be a boon to both marketers and Twitter itself.
Research firm eMarketer predicts Twitter's ad revenue will hit nearly $140 million in 2011, which is up from $45 million last year. The New York researcher forecasts that Twitter ads sales will reach $400 million in 2013.