Google has quietly invited a handful of advertisers to test a new display-ad integration with Twitter.
The layout of the ads is simple: The familiar Twitter bird is in the left-hand corner, and the advertiser's latest tweet is featured in a box centered in the unit. A button to the right reads "Follow on Twitter," allowing users to become a follower of the advertiser without leaving the page.
The ads are linked to the client's Twitter account, allowing it to always dynamically insert every tweet. Clicking on any part of the ad other than the "Follow on Twitter" button takes the user to the advertiser's Twitter page. The ads are appearing on sites in the Google content network.
Google has made no announcement regarding the program, but Qualité Search Marketing, a firm based in Oslo, Norway, said it was invited by Google to join the beta test on May 7.
Magne Uppman, founder and managing director of Qualité, said his company has seen only a modest boost in followers as a result of the ads so far.
Google declined to address the program directly, but acknowledged that it was running a number of experiments with different technology partners.
"To provide more marketing opportunities for our advertisers to reach users in moments that are relevant and useful to them, we are currently testing different ways that allow advertisers to better update their ads in real time," wrote a Google spokesperson in an e-mail message. "We are currently in a limited test with a small number of advertisers and publishers."
Google is not the first to bring live Twitter feeds to display ads. Nor is this the first time Google has incorporated Twitter into its network: The search engine has long included tweets in its search results, and last month announced its plan to roll out a timeline of archived tweets so searchers can see how a particular topic had trended over time.
Follow Douglas Quenqua on Twitter at @DQuenqua.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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