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Twitter Updates API For Promoted Tweets, Trends

Developers will eventually be able to put ad-supported content in third-party apps.
Twitter moved a step closer to the rollout of Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends in third-party applications with its August 9 update to an application programming interface (API) that gives developers access to two new fields.

The microblogging site still must take other steps before arriving at its ultimate third-party destination, said Matt Harris, developer advocate at Twitter, in a company blog. While that process continues, these two new data points will not return useful content, and will have a value of "null," he said.

"Clients using the API will see new fields related to promoted content in the response they get back from the /1/trends/current.js on request and any local trends requests," said Harris. "These two new data points will show in the json response as 'events' and 'promoted_content.'"

During the next few months, Twitter plans to beta test this process using a few desktop applications, he said.

"During this period, we aim to learn a lot, and we will apply those lessons when we expand distribution of Twitter Promoted Products to the broader ecosystem," said Harris.

In June, Twitter rolled out Promoted Trends as an extension of its Promoted Tweets, unveiled in April. A Promoted Trend is a topic that is already a Twitter trend, but one that is not yet popular enough to have arrived on the Trending Topics list; a trend that is not already popular cannot become a Promoted Trend. On the other hand, a Promoted Tweet, which is highlighted at the top of some Twitter search results page, is paid for by a business or other organization.

"Until today the Promoted Tweets and Trends were only shown to visitors on twitter.com. The API additions today take us closer to syndicating both those products to third parties," said Harris. "How this works out and ends up with everybody is one of the reasons we started the beta test with a handful of partners."

Twitter will share revenue from the Promoted Products with developers, he said. However, financial details are still under discussion, Harris added.

Earlier this month, Twitter unveiled Suggestions for You, a tool accountholders can use to find other Twitter users with similar interests. The site also added Who to Follow, a section that lists people or organizations a user might be interested in.

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