Twitter has finally launched a self-serve option for its ad platform in test mode to a handful of advertisers.
The new platform, enables advertisers to use a self-serve system to buy ads directly via Twitter, using a credit card and a Web browser, without ever having to talk to a human being. Currently, buyers can only purchase some of Twitter's ad products -- specifically "promoted accounts" and "promoted tweets" -- but Twitter says that will expand over time, as it rolls out self-serve to more buyers.
Twitter advertising currently monetizes the site using Promoted Trends, Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and political advertising. The addition of the self-serve platform should immediately allow Twitter to monetize the site further and reach higher valuations moving forward.
Matt Graves, Twitter's PR representative, issued the following statement via email:
"Last month, Twitter began testing self-service advertising with a handful of existing advertisers. These advertisers can now set up and run their own Promoted Products campaigns and pay via a credit card.
This is an important step in continuing to grow Twitter's business. Our Promoted Products can help small and medium-sized businesses build their audience on Twitter and better engage with the people they want to reach.
As with all of our advertising efforts, we're starting small, testing carefully and making improvements as we learn what works. We will slowly roll this capability out to more advertisers in the coming weeks and months."
Adam Bain, Twitter's chief revenue officer, said Twitter advertisers do not seem to mind the restrictive 140 character limit and claimed that is partially due to promoted tweets resulting in much higher conversion rates than similar online channels. The 3% to 5% overall conversion rate for Twitter advertising is substantially higher than the typical 0.5% conversion rate traditional display ads produce. Bain said the higher conversion rate is due to the user engagement and stated "the return on investment for marketers is insane."