Advertisers can run ads with the social network’s cost-per-engagement ad-buying model. The test follows Facebook’s ‘promising’ rollout of video ads late last year.

Twitter Inc. is giving advertisers another way to capture consumers’ attention.

The social network says it is testing a new video ad unit called Promoted Videos that lets a marketer pay to increase the prominence of a post containing a video. That’s much like the way advertisers use Twitter’s Promoted Tweet ad unit.

Twitter, which is running the video ad test with select advertisers, says earlier tests of ads containing videos showed that “tweets containing native Twitter video generate better engagement and more video views” than other ad units.

The videos will appear in what Twitter calls “cards”, which are posts that contain media-rich content.

Twitter says that marketers will only pay for Promoted Video ads when a user presses the Play button on a tweet. Twitter announced last week that it was pivoting from its current pay-per-engagement model to a system that lets an advertiser set a goal and pay when the campaign meets that objective.


Developing a Promoted Video ad unit is the latest move by Twitter to transform its formerly text-rich platform into a more media-rich social network. The move builds on its launch last year of its Amplify service, which allows advertisers to embed ads into real-time video content. For example, NBC Sports Group has used the Amplify service to target soccer fans on Twitter with video highlights from the English professional Premier League.

The test follows Facebook’s rollout of video ads last year. Those ads have delivered “promising results,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, during the social network’s second quarter earnings call. However, unlike Facebook’s ads, which play automatically, a Twitter user has to click a Play button for a video to run. The payment structure is also different. Advertisers on Facebook buy the ads based on “targeted gross rating points,” which measure impressions in relation to the number of consumers in a specific target audience.