Unlike with most social networks, it’s actually really easy to use Twitter without an account, so much so that the company estimates that there are somewhere around 500 million Twitter users that aren’t accounted for in normal usage statistics because they don’t have an account. Users that don’t have accounts are not only not included in statistics, the aren’t being served advertisements, which means Twitter is monetizing less than half of its userbase. Obviously this is something that the company would like to change, and its currently testing a way of doing so by serving ads to users that either don’t have an account, or aren’t logged in to one.
Twitter is testing an expansion of its promoted tweets advertising unit that displays the sponsored messages even if someone doesn’t sign in to its service. The test could help Twitter address one of its core problems: People don’t have to sign up for its service to take advantage of the public nature of its contents. Anyone capable of searching for someone on Google, or following a direct link to a public tweet, can peruse the platform even if they tweet something themselves. Many people take advantage of this fact. Re/code reports that roughly 500 million people who don’t have Twitter accounts visit the service each month. That’s greater than the 320 million users who log in to the site each month, according to Twitter’s usage statistics, and a valuable audience for advertisers. “By letting marketers scale their campaigns and tap into the total Twitter audience, they will be able to speak to more people in new places using the same targeting, ad creative, and measurement tools,” Twitter said. “Marketers can now maximize the opportunities they have to connect with that audience.”