Twitter to Promote Tweets First in API Timelines

Adam DuVander
Nov. 01 2010, 05:00PM EDT

Twitter has been carefully rolling out its Promoted Tweets service, which it first announced in April at its Chirp conference. Now these advertisements are being included in some users' timelines on Twitter application HootSuite, according to both companies. Twitter already added Promoted Tweets to its searches.

The Twitter blog announced the HootSuite test phase:

During this testing period with HootSuite, we will experiment with where and when Promoted Tweets are shown in the timeline. Not all HootSuite users will see Promoted Tweets and those who do may see different Promoted Tweets in different places in their timeline. As with Promoted Tweets in search, we will display Promoted Tweets in the timeline when they are relevant. Similar to our Promoted Account recommendations, we use several signals to determine a Promoted Tweet’s relevance to a user, including the public list of whom they follow. We will expand the rollout only when we feel we're delivering a high-quality user experience.

It's been common for new Twitter features to first show up in the API before being incorporated into Twitter.com. Geotagged tweets, those that have the user's location included, were famously available only via API for several months. Promoted Tweets have been in Twitter's search site, as well as some Twitter clients via API.

Twitter will move beyond its specific partner tests, eventually making Promoted Tweets available to all developers. "The long-term plan is to launch Promoted Tweets in the timeline wherever people experience Twitter," Twitter's Director of Communications Matt Graves said. However, Graves was careful to stress the testing phase. "We will expand the rollout only when we feel we're delivering a high-quality user experience," he said.

When the time comes for Twitter to include Promoted Tweets in all timelines via the API, developers will have the option to remove them. Further, developers who keep them will receive a revenue split, Twitter's COO Dick Costolo said at Chirp. The exact split has not been decided.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

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