The top microblogging platform has made a big announcement. Twitter has started beta tests of a new service that may be attractive to those who are willing to pay for advertising. In essence, it is an automatic, flat-fee account promotion program. For just 99 USD, you get your content promoted for a whole month. But the devil is, as always, in the details.

What do you get?

As with most beta tests, the range of the promotion is limited. Only selected users are receiving invitations, although anyone can fill in a registration form on Twitter’s website and see if they get lucky. Those who decide to join the tests will get a month’s worth of account and tweet promotions for 99 USD. Twitter does note, though, that the promotional campaigns will be limited to the first ten tweets sent out each day. They will also not include retweets, quote tweets nor replies. The company adds that “Not every Tweet that is added to your Promoted Tweet campaign will serve an impression, and the extent each Tweet is promoted may vary based on performance.

The actual tweet promotion is done automatically — users do not have to create ad campaigns or pay to promote individual tweets. The promise is that content will be shown to an audience that should be interested in it. There are two targeting options available at the moment — Interest and Location — but they cannot be combined. Twitter says that in the future, more of these may become available.

The 99 USD fee also provides access to biweekly reports on the performance of your content — potential growth in follower number, reach and engagement. Twitter’s own analytics tools can also be used at any time to see how the program affects promoted content. And it even gets better. If you are lucky enough to be invited to the tests and you do sign up, the first thirty days are free. After that, you get the option to quit at any time or pay and continue.

Better results, less work

At first glance, the new promotion model looks like it should work for brands with limited resources, smaller businesses and even regular users. Simply put, it should make reaching new groups of people on Twitter easier than ever. It requires no additional work for planning and constructing ad campaigns — all you need to do is tweet regularly. At least that is what Twitter is saying on its own website: “Instead of creating and optimizing separate Twitter Ads campaigns yourself, this program will do the heavy lifting. You just need to continue using Twitter as you normally do — Tweeting updates, links, and media that you want a larger audience to see. Then, the promotion of your Tweets will be automated.

But as the whole process is automated, the most important part will be in Twitter’s hands. Only time will tell if their targeting will do wonders and if users will be interested in this type of promotion. The company did not say how long the beta tests will run and how many people will be invited to join them. If you would like to apply for the programme, check out Twitter’s website.