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New Twitter experiment is showing some users more ads

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Twitter makes most of its revenue from advertising, and though its daily audience has been growing, its monthly user base has been shrinking for most of the last year.
(Loic Venance / AFP / Getty Images)
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 how frequently users are shown 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.

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Some journalists first noticed and started tweeting about seeing more ads on Twitter 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 influences 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 the experiment is.

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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.


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