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New Twitter ‘Experiment’ Shows Some Users Many More Ads

Kurt Wagner
New Twitter ‘Experiment’ Shows Some Users Many More Ads

(Bloomberg) -- If you feel like you’ve been seeing more Twitter ads lately, it’s not just your imagination.

A Twitter Inc. spokeswoman said Tuesday that the company is experimenting with ad load, the industry term used to describe the frequency that users see advertisements. As a result, some people are getting more ads in their Twitter feed than usual.

“We are always running experiments with our ad experience, including with the various aspects of ad frequency and targeting,” the social-media company said in a statement, which also encouraged users to share feedback on the experience.

Some journalists first noticed and started tweeting about seeing more ads on Twitter earlier this week. Not all Twitter users have the same ad load, which means the experiment won’t affect everyone. Some people see more ads than others depending on a variety of factors, including how the number of ads influence their use of the platform. (Facebook and Instagram do something similar.) Three years ago, Twitter shut off ads for some of the network’s most prominent users as part of an effort to keep them engaged. Some users still have an ad-free Twitter.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to say how big this experiment is.

San Francisco-based Twitter makes most of its revenue from advertising, and while its daily audience has been growing, its monthly user base has been shrinking for most of the past year. It’s plausible that Twitter may be trying to increase ad load as a way to sustain revenue growth despite a declining user base.

Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, produces TicToc, a global breaking news service for Twitter.

(Includes more details about Twitter’s ad load in the fourth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair Barr

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