Twitter is beginning to test a new product for advertisers: The ability to promote "offers" that are tied to a Twitter user's credit card.
The company is beginning the test with a collection of brands over the holiday season. When a Twitter user sees an offer, they can add it to their credit or debit card. Then, when that user makes a purchase, the cash-back offer is redeemed directly to their card within a few days, the company said. Advertisers will be able to measure the uptake of the offers and see how each offer is translating into in-store sales, much like how they can monitor how specific ads are performing.
Alongside its large and healthy advertising business, Twitter has built out an arsenal of revenue-generating services under the guidance of top executive Adam Bain. Twitter Offers is yet another new tool being rolled out as the company works to convince investors that it is worthy of its $25 billion valuation.
But while the commercial side rolls on, the company has had a hard time attracting new users, and there has been a lot of executive turnover, particularly among the people leading the company's product side. While the company can grow by creating new revenue-generating products or selling more ads, growing user numbers are still a crucial part of the equation.
Earlier this year, Twitter began rolling out a new tool that would allow Twitter users to buy things directly from their timelines. The new offers tool is basically an extension of that, allowing advertisers to use a relatively traditional tactic to attract potentially new and existing customers to make a purchase.
Twitter, like Facebook, knows what its users like based on the other accounts they follow, building up what is typically called in the industry an "interest graph." While Facebook is seen to have one of the strongest stores of data about its users — including real name, age, gender, location, and the things they like — Twitter since going public has made the case to investors that it also has a strong and unique understanding of its users.