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Twitter launches advertising tool to target TV conversations

The feature allows marketers to engage Twitter users talking about specific programs with Promoted Tweets.

James Martin/CNET

Twitter announced a new feature Thursday that allows it to cozy up a little closer to TV viewers.

Called TV conversation targeting, the feature allows networks and brands to engage Twitter users talking about specific programs with Promoted Tweets, regardless of whether the marketer is running an ad with the program, the company wrote Thursday in a company blog post .

"We believe Twitter and TV are highly complementary," the San Francisco-based company said in the blog post. "Now advertisers can easily reach Twitter users exposed to integrations, sponsorships, and other innovative TV tie-ins for an additional touch point or message expansion."

Twitter said its research shows that when coupled with TV commercials, its Promoted Tweets delivered 95 percent stronger message association and 8 percent to 16 percent more sales, with customer acquisition costs coming in at 36 percent lower than TV alone. The feature debuts in the US and UK, with launches due soon in Brazil, Canada, France, and Spain.

Expanding beyond its microblogging roots, the company recently ramped up content partnerships with TV networks with hopes that entertainment avenues will generate big ad revenue. One of those partnerships is a recent deal Twitter signed with CBS (the parent company of CNET) that will enable the TV network to embed video clips from a wide variety of its shows in tweets.

The partnership is part of Twitter's Amplify program, which presents the social network's users with video clips provided by its TV partners, accompanied by short advertisements. The Amplify partners, in turn, target their videos at their users with promoted tweets.

Another piece of Twitter's TV targeting is the "Nielsen Twitter TV Ranking," a tool the companies launched last month to measure the unique audience viewing tweets about individual programs.