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Twitter will show ads to people who see tweets but aren't Twitter users

It's a way to make money "off-platform."

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Twitter is going to start selling more ads — but you won't see them if you're a Twitter user.

Instead, the ads are going to show up outside of Twitter's app and other properties, attached to Tweets that run in other apps.

The idea is to insert the ads in Twitter timelines that developers insert into their own apps, using Twitter's MoPub ad unit. Here's an example of what that would look like:


Twitter announced the move today in a blog post aimed at developers, but the news is also aimed at investors: For nearly two years, Twitter has been telling Wall Street that it has an audience much bigger than its base of 300 million active users, because lots of people who aren't Twitter users still see Tweets.

Now it can start making money when that happens.

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