Twitter expects hundreds of advertisers in Q4

By : |May 19, 2010 0

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Twitter, the rapidly expanding microblogging service, plans to have hundreds of advertisers using its new ad system in the fourth quarter as the company ramps up plans to become a self-sustaining, profitable business.

"We really look to start to ramp this up aggressively in Q3 and then really blow it open in Q4," Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco.

Twitter is currently adding roughly another dozen advertisers to its so-called "Promoted Tweets" program, which it unveiled with five participating advertisers last month, Costolo said.

Twitter — which allows its 100 million users to send 140-character text messages, or Tweets, to groups of so-called followers — is one of the Web’s most popular social networking services, along with Facebook and LinkedIn.

"We are super-confident that we can build a profitable business based on this (promoted tweets) and on commercial accounts," Costolo said. "But it’s a dark tunnel and we’ll see where we are at the end of Q4."

Costolo, who is responsible for monetization and the day-to-day operations of the business, said "promoted tweets," essentially a way for advertisers to generate buzz about their products, had been "successful beyond our wildest dreams," since launching last month.

Initial advertisers included airline Virgin America, coffee chain Starbucks, NBC Universal’s Bravo TV network, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, a unit of Sony Corp. Dozens more will follow soon, Costolo said, and hundreds in the fourth quarter.

"We don’t have a deadline for when we want the company to be profitable," said Costolo. "We have tons of money in the bank."

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