The next time you visit a friend’s Twitter profile you may see something that will make you look twice.
No, your friend isn’t suddenly tweeting out marketing on behalf of big brands, what you’re seeing is a new test where Twitter is inserting promoted tweets in users profiles.
Recode reports Twitter confirmed it’s conducting this test, but the ads ate not meant to blend in with other content. The ad units will be clearly separated by a break in the stream, followed by a label that reads “suggested by Twitter”
A Twitter spokesperson tells Recode:
“We’re experimenting with this feature, as we do with all our ad features, in order to create great experiences for our users, advertisers and partners,”
Since the ads are targeted, they will only be served to users who are logged in. While that makes sense, Twitter is missing out on the opportunity to advertise to logged out users.
People who are not logged in may still end up on Twitter by following a link in Google’s search results, for example. That’s a whole audience of people who won’t be marketed to. Perhaps Twitter will change this if the initial test proves to be successful.
At this time, promoted tweets will not appear on the profile pages of verified users. On the other hand, non-verified users will have to deal with ads showing up on their profiles, as there’s no way to opt out.
The test is now live on the web and mobile versions of Twitter.com.