Twitter has so far proven to be better at selling mobile ads than growing its audience–quarterly revenues have been more than doubling year-over-year, while user growth has been stuck in the single digits. By some estimates nearly 750 million Twitter accounts have been created and then abandoned by novice users.
Now, perhaps in acknowledgment of those strengths and weaknesses, Twitter plans to syndicate Promoted Tweets on third-party platforms, starting with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan.
“In the third quarter of 2014 there were approximately 185 billion Tweet impressions off of Twitter,” the company wrote in a blog post. “For the thousands of brands already advertising on Twitter, these new partnerships open a significant opportunity to extend the reach of their message to a larger audience.”
Notably absent in the announcement: Any mention of ESPN, which had been in talks with Twitter about adding Promoted Tweets to its SportsCenter app, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The move also plays into Twitter’s strategy of building a developer network equal to Facebook’s, with tools that entice both brands and engineers.
When CEO Dick Costolo reports on Twitter’s fourth-quarter earnings later this week, investors are sure to ask about the Promoted Tweets and growth in monthly active users. Twitter shares were up 3% today on news of the third-party deals.