Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Tells Advertisers to Dig Deeper: "Promoted Trends" Get a Price Hike

Twitter’s “promoted trends” ads may be the company’s most consistent source of revenue. Now the company wants to wring more money out of them: It has told buyers to expect a significant price bump for the ads in the next few months.

Twitter doesn’t have a formal rate card, but ad industry sources say the going price for a one-day promoted trends purchase has settled between $70,000 and $80,000, after starting out as high as $100,000 a day.

Now Twitter has started telling buyers the coming price hike will consistently push the ads into the $100,000 to $120,000 range.

Promoted trends give an advertiser a chance to essentially purchase a small sliver of Twitter’s site, by inserting their message at the top of the “trends” section of users’ pages. For now, Twitter sells only one per day, and has been selling the slot out with some frequency.

And promoted trends could become even more valuable for Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and his company if they start carving the ads up into different geographies, giving them the ability to sell more than one per day.

If, say, Twitter could sell at least two different promoted trends, in two different territories each week, at $100,000 a pop, those ads alone could generate $20.8 million a year. Play around with those assumptions, and you can quite easily bite off a big chunk of the $100 million-plus ad revenue estimates we’ve seen floated.

Ad buyers also tell me Twitter has been bullish about its “Promoted Accounts” product, which it rolled out toward the end of last year.

When I first wrote about the concept last summer, and described it as a way to let marketers (or anyone) “buy” followers, the concept upset some Twitter traditionalists.

But they’re going to have to get over it, because it’s exactly what Twitter is selling: It prices the ads, which show up on users “Who to follow” list, on a “cost per follow” basis. Buyers pay between $1 to $3 for every new account that follows them.

The one Twitter ad product I haven’t heard buyers talk that much about is the first one Twitter rolled out. “Promoted Tweets” were supposed to work like Google’s AdWords–“organic” tweets, tied to keywords, that showed up in search results, and later in users’ regular streams.

That seemed like a promising tactic at first. But I’ve never seen a promoted tweet “in the wild”; the only time I’ve seen them is when they’re attached to the promoted trends.

But perhaps I’m just missing them. If you’ve bought one, or if you see one, please pass drop me a line ( and let me know.

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