Los Angeles -- Popular micro-blogging site Twitter, on Wednesday unleashed a revamped page for its business efforts, which prominently features its advertising services of Promoted Tweets, Promoted Trends and Promoted Accounts as well as opens the door to any advertiser who wants to appear on Twitter.
Dick Costolo, Twitter's chief executive, back in September mentioned that Twitter would offer self-serve advertising to small businesses next year. The new site does not yet do that, but has an online form that advertisers can use to contact Twitter.
"We have seen enormous growth in the creative ways businesses and organizations are leveraging Twitter, and we want to make sure you have access to their great ideas," spokeswoman Carolyn Penner wrote in a blog post.
The most prominent change is the addition of a form for communicating with the company about using Twitter's advertising service, which promotes specific accounts, updates, and trends. Those services had previously only been available to select accounts; now Twitter appears to have opened them up to all.
Twitter's advertising products, which were rolled out last spring, include Promoted Tweets that is displayed at the top of the Twitter feed when people search Twitter and, for some Twitter apps like HootSuite and TweetDeck, in the time-lines of users who follow similar accounts to those of the advertiser. Twitter charges each time a user forwards, replies to, clicks on or marks a Twitter post as a favorite.
However, the expanded business guide includes a tutorial section breaking down the basics of how to use Twitter, another section that helps companies on how to optimize your activity with tips on building a following for a business, and finally a section called Start Advertising on Twitter, inviting advertisers on a "journey with the most engaging innovative ads on the web".
Interestingly, the Start Advertising page is also bundled with a hard-to-miss form, inviting businesses to specify in which advertising products they would be interested, what their monthly budget is and expected launch date they had in mind, in which regions they operate and whether they're for-profit or not.
It is anything but self-serve, like Google AdWords, but it is a start.
However, there is some glitch though, after filling in the required information about your business -- including a monthly advertising budget -- submitting the form presumably results in the Twitter business team contacting you, though when we tested it, we got a message that said "Sorry, that page does not exist." Twitter informed us that the form is submitting properly, but the "thank you" page is giving an error.
With the new Twitter for Businesses, companies can also obtain Promoted Trends, which Twitter claims sell for $100,000 a day and makes its way in to the list of trending topics, or Promoted Accounts, for which Twitter recommends that relevant users follow a business.
Interestingly, as part of its renewed business push, Twitter also touts a seemingly new product called Analytics, which lets all advertisers tracks things like how many people have seen or mentioned a business's posts -- a major step toward solving Twitter's analytics riddle.
Penner hinted that more products and services, aimed at business customers, will come to Twitter in the future. "We will continue to update the site with fresh use cases, tips, tools, and resources," she wrote. Use cases are examples of how businesses can use Twitter as a marketing tool.
The new site also touts a tutorial on Twitter for new users and advertisers, case studies of companies like Best Buy and Etsy and a list of best practices "respond to compliments and feedback in real time" and "Tweet updates about special offers" for companies using Twitter for free to communicate with customers, as many business, both big and small, have been doing.
The new business site is part of Twitter's ongoing effort to monetize the site. Advertising revenue is a key factor in Twitter becoming a major force on the Web, alongside the Google's and Facebook's of the Internet, which pull in millions of dollars from ads on their sites. The reboot of business.twitter.com is Twitter's latest push to generate more revenue as the site says it currently has 160 million registered users.