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Twitter moves to put 'products and places' in feeds
[WASHINGTON] Twitter said on Friday it was testing a new way to use the messaging platform for shopping by promoting "products and places" in its feeds, as it looks to boost revenues.
"We're starting to experiment with a small number of products and places," Twitter product manager Amaryllis Fox said in an official blog post.
"As we test, within your timeline you may see pages and collections of pages that are shared by influencers and brands." The move will expand the platform beyond tweets to pages with product information and in some cases "buy" buttons.
The revamp also allows for designated "curators" to connect with users in a manner beyond the 140-character tweet.
"We've invited a group of curators to share collections of some of their favorite places and things," Ms Fox said.
"You'll be able to browse rich collections from influencers you care about and get more information about the products or places you find interesting." This could include sponsored messages from HBO about its Game Of Thrones television series or from actress Reese Witherspoon about her Draper James line of apparel, Fox listed in her post as examples.
Other partners in the programme include sportswear group Nike, retailer Target and the online news site TechCrunch.
The move comes with Twitter looking to improve growth and engagement as it seeks a new top executive to replace Dick Costolo, who is stepping down.
Mr Costolo was under tremendous pressure from investors to prove his worth by increasing the ranks of Twitter users and revenues brought in by the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.
Twitter's most recent update showed it has some 300 million active users, but growth has been sluggish compared with other social networks and it has yet to show a profit.
Twitter's share of the US$145 billion spent on digital advertising around the world this year is slightly less than one per cent, up from just shy of a half-per cent last year, the research firm eMarketer said.