While 2009 was the year in which Twitter really made it big, 2010 is shaping up to be the year in which Twitter really grew up as a product. Gone are the days when the disruptive social networking service used to be mocked for its (lack of a) business model. During the course of this year, Twitter has launched “Promoted Trends” and has announced “Promoted Tweets”. Now the company has rolled out “Promoted Accounts”.
“Promoted Accounts” is currently available to only select brands, but might be offered to individuals later. The concept behind Twitter’s latest monetization effort is simple. As shown in the screenshot embedded below, the promoted twitter accounts will show up in the “Who to follow” section of Twitter’s website. Twitter will be suggesting relevant promoted accounts to its users algorithmically. Carolyn Penner, Twitter communications, explains, “For example, a lot of people who follow several gaming-related accounts also follow @xbox. If someone follows gaming-related accounts, but not @xbox, Twitter may recommend @xbox to that person”.
In related news, the startup is now 300 employees strong, and has just announced the selection of Dick Costolo as its new CEO. Ev Williams has stepped down to concentrate on envisioning new product ideas. Like his partner Biz Stone, Williams now simply holds the title of co-founder. Costolo, who was previously Twitter’s COO, has revealed that Twitter will not be filling the vacancy in the near future.