Ads will be creeping into Twitter clients as the social network has opened up an advertising API allowing advertisers to create more complex, targeted advertising using Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account campaigns on the social network.
Along with the API, Twitter has named five partners as the first to sign up: Adobe, Salesforce, Hootsuite, SHIFT and TBG Digital – spanning app and content creation, traffic measurement, client software and marketing.
The API team offers advertisers greater capacity to measure and monitor the performance of adverts on the social network. Software tools built on top of the ads platform by Twitter's partners will allow for a broader range of adverts on the network.
The fact Adobe is in the top line of early partners shows Adobe’s back in contention as a player for online ads, especially those served to mobile.
The majority of online ads served to PCs are built using Adobe’s Flash player, but Adobe has fallen out of favour in the fast-growing devices market thanks to Steve Jobs' successful war on Flash.
That’s forced Adobe to kill Flash for mobile while it’s also built out a family of HTML5 tools as part of Adobe’s Edge Tools and Services, unveiled last year, which will allow Adobe to serve iPhones and iPads.
Adobe, Salesforce and co will provide their clients with the ability to advertise on Twitter from within their tools. But Twitter has been very canny about the whole thing, as when those clients advertise on Twitter, they become Twitter's clients, and the transaction takes place through the Twitter API itself. The partners will get a slice.
Social networks Facebook and LinkedIn already have ad APIs but it's a significant move for Twitter and shows a will to focus on ad revenue ahead of a potential stock market flotation.
The API and partnerships change the way Twitter does business online. Presently, Sponsored Tweets are the only form of advertising that run on Twitter, sold through Twitter's direct sales team or the Ad self-serve tool but that changes with today's launch.
Twitter promises ad-pushers that the end result will be better adverts getting more engagement. In a statement, Twitter said: "With the Ads API, marketers now have more tools in their arsenal to help them deliver the right message, to the right audience, on the desktop and on mobile devices — all at scale. ®