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Twitter Starts Advertising Service

April 13, 2010 

Twitter Inc., a Web site whose users post about 50 million short messages a day, will start running advertising on its platform as it seeks new sources of revenue.

Twitter, founded in 2006, will carry “promoted tweets” from advertisers including Best Buy Inc. and Starbucks Inc., the company said today on a blog on its site. The advertisements will be shown at the top of search pages, before Twitter rolls them out within the whole site.

“Stubborn insistence on a slow and thoughtful approach to monetization -- one which puts users first, amplifies existing value, and generates profit -- has frustrated some Twitter watchers,” Creative Director Biz Stone said on the blog.

The San Francisco-based social networking service only began focusing on revenue last year. It struck distribution deals for about $25 million with Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc., enough to make Twitter profitable in 2009, people familiar with the situation said in December.

The closely held company which lets users post updates, or tweets, of up to 140 characters, named Ali Rowghani as its first chief financial officer in February as it seeks new sources of revenue.

The advertisements will be shown as ordinary tweets, the company said. More advertisers will be able to post tweets in the future. If users don’t interact with the advertisement, then it will disappear, the company said.

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