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Twiiter to Bring in Cash via Promoted Tweets

Twitter is finally set to reveal a revenue-earning business plan, according to a newspaper report.

The microblogging company whose meteoric rise in usage has been matched by complete silence about how it intended to make money is about to take the wraps off an advertising plan, according to the New York Times.

Twitter's plan, called Promoted Tweets, will be an advertising programme that will allow advertisers to link to keywords, in a similar way that Google does for its searches and Gmail users.

"The idea behind Promoted Tweets is that we want to enhance the communications that companies are already having with customers on Twitter," said Dick Costolo, Twitter's chief operating officer. The introduction of Promoted Tweets will mean that businesses will have an easier way to engage with their customers, either by offering special promotions or by counter-acting bad publicity.

It's not the first revenue stream for Twitter - the company already has some revenue from licensing its posts to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo - but it represent the first serious push by the company to earn some real revenue.

This caps a hectic few days for Twitter. Last Friday, the company announced that it would produce its own client for accessing Twitter via BlackBerry handsets, previously Twitter has relied exclusively. This was a move that was not well received in the developer community. In a later move that day, Twitter also said that it was acquiring Atebits, creator of the iPhone client Tweetie.

Tomorrow, the Chirp conference for Twitter developers will open in San Francisco, it promises to be a lively event.

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