Twitter has officially approved political advertising for the first time.
Twitter has already claimed a major role in the nation’s political discourse. Now it’s betting that political advertising -– including a 2012 presidential campaign that could top $1 billion in spending — will amount to a major windfall for its nascent advertising business.
Twitter is taking the opportunity very seriously. It has lined up presidential candidates and national party election committees as its first advertisers. It’s also building a political ad sales team run by Peter Greenberger, whom Twitter poached from Google. Greenberger built and managed Google’s political sales team and managed Google’s work on electoral campaigns, committees and for issue advocacy groups.
In an interview with Politico, Twitter’s president of global revenue, Adam Bain, called political ads “a huge opportunity.”
The first ad that began running Wednesday is from Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Costolo Twitter is a hub for politicos. According to a spokesman, 85 U.S. senators, more than 360 members of the House of Representatives, 42 governors and more than 35 world leaders are on Twitter.
To distinguish political from commercial ads, political ads will have a small purple check mark. Political disclosures will pop up if you hover over the ad.