Twitter Inc. added a feature to let marketers schedule their posts, as the company moves to make it easier for advertisers to use its products ahead of a more than $1 billion public offering.
The new tool works for both regular 140-character posts -- known as tweets -- and ones that brands pay for to promote their message to a larger audience, the company said in a blog post today. The feature will help companies schedule their content up to a year in advance, making it easier to plan advertising campaigns around a new product or holiday.
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Twitter is trying to make it simpler for advertisers to use its platform, as ad agencies continue experimenting with the microblogging service. Releasing new ad products and features are crucial to Twitter's ability to increase revenue and achieve profitability, the San Francisco-based company said in its S-1 prospectus, which was made public earlier this month.
"Scheduling tweets in advance is something that is already baked into Twitter through clients like TweetDeck, which is owned by Twitter," said Rebecca Lieb, an advertising analyst with Altimeter Group in New York. "There's no reason that advertisers should not have the functionality that everyone else using Twitter has been able to enjoy for a long while, so it's good that they've done this."
Twitter, which acquired TweetDeck in May 2011, also lets users who aren't advertisers schedule their free content using other applications such as HootSuite.
Twitter's business, which relies on advertising, is in its beginning stages. In the first six months of the year, the company's revenue more than doubled to $253.6 million, even as it posted a net loss of the period of $69.3 million.
Ad revenue is projected to rise 63 percent to $950 million next year from $582.8 million in 2013, according to EMarketer Inc.
Twitter is following a similar arc to Facebook Inc., the world's largest social network and a competitor, which also beefed up its ad products and has been training advertisers on how to reach users through its site before and after an IPO last year.
"Facebook almost acted like an older sibling in paving the way, educating advertisers on social media in general," Lieb said.