Twitter Tests Geotargeted Tweets, Ad Revs May Hit $250M By '12

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Twitter began beta testing the ability to geographically target Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets. The feature, rolled out to advertisers using the platform, targets users in specific countries. In the U.S., Promoted Tweets also can target users in specific metro regions.

When asked how many companies are testing the feature, Twitter spokesperson Matt Graves declined to disclose specifics, but said "as with all of our advertising efforts, we are watching this test closely and will use feedback from advertisers and Twitter users to fine-tune and iterate on the feature."

Analyst firm eMarketer estimates about 20.6 million U.S. adult Internet users will use Twitter at least once monthly this year, up 26.3% from 2010. Use levels will continue to rise, reaching 27.7 million U.S. adults in 2013.

Twitter's global ad revenue should reach $250 million by 2012 -- up from $45 million in 2010, the majority coming from the U.S. market, according to eMarketer.

Clix Marketing founder David Szetela has the option to target by country and metro area within the country. Although the feature appears on his version of the Twitter advertising dashboard, he has yet to being geographically targeting Promoted Tweets.

Szetela began running campaigns earlier this year, supporting advertisers such as Guy Kawasaki; he can see benefits from geotargeting Promoted Tweets."Obviously, if my target audience is restricted geographically, I can save money and increase return on investment of my ad campaign by making sure only my target sees my Promoted Tweets," he said. "I can also use geo-specific messaging in my tweets, such as 'If you're a New England Patriots fan, we've got a special deal just for you!'"

Initially, Szetela believes the biggest challenge will come from some metro areas that do not have the ability to reach a large number of people. Expect that to change as more people sign on and Twitter's member volume grows, he says.

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