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Twitter Targets Smaller Advertisers

Twitter

The micro-blogging service is casting a wider net and going beyond major marketers as it looks to boost its ad revenue.

NEW YORK - Twitter is broadening the scope of its effort to generate advertising revenue beyond major marketers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Looking to make money off more than 100 million monthly Twitter users, the San Francisco micro-blogging service plans to unveil Friday a system that also allows smaller companies to buy "promoted," or paid, tweets online, the paper said. Until now, advertisers or ad agencies had to go through a Twitter representative in a system that limited access to ads.

Twitter, which started selling ads about two years ago, has said that selling ads to smaller businesses is one part of its revenue growth plan.

So far, more than 3,000 mostly larger companies have bought Twitter ads, according to the Journal. Among marketers are such companies as Wendy's, Volkswagen and Southwest Airlines.

The Journal highlighted that the broadened ad strategy comes as Twitter looks to boost its revenue as it tries to live up to a private-market valuation of more than $8.4 billion.

Research firm eMarketer has estimated that Twitter sold about $139.5 million in ads last year, compared with Facebook's disclosure in its IPO prospectus that its ad revenue amounted to $3.15 billion in 2011.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai