Twitter has its sights trained on a group many have looked to to spur growth: small business. Last week, the company announced a limited launch of its “promoted” advertising services, already used by major firms such as Audi and McDonald’s, to small businesses.

Users and advertisers are already familiar with the concept of tweets as ads: promoted posts, accounts and trends are placed near the top of a user’s Twitter feed as well as suggested accounts to follow and what’s trending lists.

The launch can be read as a validation of the company’s monetization strategy. Twitter is on its way to earning about $260 million in ad revenues this year, according to eMarketer. That figure pales in comparison to the hauls Google and Facebook are taking in, but analysts say the expansion of promoted tweets proves there is interest in the type of advertising possibilities Twitter offers.

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