Twitter has unveiled a plan to prioritise paid tweets by putting sponsored posts at the top of user feeds.
Promoted Tweet posts from accounts a user is following will appear first in a feed. The practice will be limited to accounts being followed, and users will have the option to hide the tweets.
"We all come to Twitter to connect with the latest information on the topics and people we care about,' the company said in a blog post.
"So when we decide to follow a favourite brand, business or charitable organisation, we expect to be among the first to get a special announcement, access to exclusive content or a great offer."
Twitter will test the feature in the coming weeks with several businesses and charities, including Red Bull, Microsoft Xbox, the American Red Cross and Starbucks.
Twitter revealed the Promoted Tweets platform in 2010, allowing companies to pay for posts which had until then been prioritised only in search results.
Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran suggested that, while Promoted Tweets can help businesses connect with users, companies should take care not to abuse the feature and risk annoying people.
"It's OK to use paid media in your social marketing efforts, but it's best to start by dipping your toe," Corcoran wrote in a blog post.
"The risk isn't in cost (most of these ads are performance-based), it's in alienating your customers."
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