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Twitter expands promoted tweet advertising to outside websites
[SAN FRANCISCO] Twitter Inc is expanding its advertising base in a way that may affect how Wall Street sees the Web company's revenue prospects.
Twitter, which will report earnings Thursday, has started displaying tweet-based advertising, known as Promoted Tweets, beyond its main website, the company said on Tuesday in a blog post.
Promoted Tweets will appear in the Flipboard mobile-news application and on Yahoo Japan.
Twitter will share ad revenue with those sites, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the company isn't disclosing financial details.
Twitter, whose social network has about a fifth the users of Facebook Inc's, has sought to blunt concerns about slowing member growth by saying that its active user number - 284 million in the third quarter - under-represents the wider universe of people who see the postings on news websites and apps.
In that same period, the company said, tweets were seen 185 billion times on Web properties the company doesn't own.
The expansion of Promoted Tweets means Twitter will start making money from those eyeballs, as Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo promised in November.
"We've been thinking a lot about how we can take the rich canvas of the Promoted Tweet and extend it beyond Twitter, to all the places where tweets go today," the company said in the blog post. "This is the first of many opportunities to create such campaigns."
A representative for Twitter declined to comment on the terms of the advertising deals.
The San Francisco-based company has been taking steps to make it easier for websites and apps to display tweets by releasing software for developers. Over time, more of these sites that show tweets will also show Twitter advertising.
Twitter didn't release the product in time for numbers to show up in fourth-quarter earnings later this week, though Twitter has said that distributing its ads more widely could be a driving force of revenue in the future.