According to new reports, Twitter has started showing fewer ads to a small group of its most active users.
First reported by Re/code, Twitter has stopped serving up ads, or at least dramatically reduced the number of ads, for "a small group of some of its most prominent and active users." For these users, Re/code explained, Twitter has become "an ad-free, or nearly ad-free, experience." One user who made this VIP list, Alex Hern, asked Twitter about the lack of ads back in September. The company's response was: "We're constantly tweaking our algorithms around how often and to whom we show ads, so from time to time some people on Twitter won't see promoted tweets. We put an emphasis on relevance and quality, and these relevance models take into account individual users' behavior and preferences."
Re/code's sources at Twitter explained that the VIP group is not based solely on star power. Instead, the no-ad or low-ad group is selected using a variety of criteria including the volume and reach of their tweets. While some of these "key influencers" are not celebrities, many of these VIPs are famous. The VIP Twitter experience began back in September when Jack Dorsey was named interim CEO. Dorsey is believed to have endorsed the project and has decided to stick with it as Twitter's permanent CEO. Twitter can afford this small group of VIPs, as it is estimates that the company generated $2.2 billion in revenue in 2015, mostly from ads. Twitter has not commented on the VIP project, saying only, "We’re constantly looking at constraints and adjustments to optimize which ads are shown and how often."
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