Tweeting for Business: Twitter Launches Small Business Ad Initiative

As a means of addressing long-standing concerns over how it could monetize itself, Twitter has launched a new initiative that will allow small businesses to purchase advertising on the company’s signature messaging platform. While the company has over 100 million users and is currently valued at about $8 billion, it has never established a firm income-generating model — that is, until now.

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The San Francisco-based company, launched in 2007, allows people to post 140-character messages, referred to as “tweets,” that will show up on the timelines of their followers. The new initiative, launched earlier this week, is presently only available to businesses that use American Express, though the Twitter hopes to expand the service to include other card companies later in the year.

The move comes in a vital stage of the company’s development. Coupled with the publicity over competing social network Facebook’s recently announced initial public offering, many analystst have been eyeing the company, curious to see if it, too, will soon be going public.

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