Twitter is becoming an advertising firm

The social network will now charge companies to embed tweets into Flipboard and Yahoo content, in a bid to capitalise on Twitter's audience outside of its apps and website

Companies can now pay to promote their tweets on Flipboard and Yahoo

Twitter is launching itself as an advertising company by displaying “promoted tweets” on third party platforms like Flipboard and Yahoo.

The social network already charges companies to insert marketing tweets into the feeds of users who do not follow that brand, which it first announced in April 2010, but is now offering an additional package whereby those tweets are shown to Flipboard users and viewers of Yahoo Japan.

Those companies will share revenue with Twitter, although no details of that split have been released.

Twitter claims that in the third quarter of 2014 there were 185 billion tweet views outside of the company’s apps and website – just those that were embedded elsewhere. This latest move is an attempt to monetise that traffic.

Ameet Ranadive, Twitter’s senior director of product, said 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. Twitter syndicated ads will be seen by users within Twitter content sections on third-party properties, as well as within third-party content areas.”

Eric Feng, chief technology officer at Flipboard, told the Wall Street Journal: “The biggest thing we get out of it is for the first time getting access to promoted tweets.

“It’s been performing incredibly well so for us to have access to that unit inside of Flipboard is incredibly powerful in terms of expanding our monetisation capabilities inside of our app.”

Falling Windows sales hits Microsoft profits

Surface, smartphone and software sales boost Microsoft sales, but profits fall as company prepares to launch Windows 10

Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 at a launch event earlier in January

An increase in sales of Surface tablets, smartphones, and software has boosted revenues for Microsoft.

The technology company, which last week unveiled Windows 10, said that revenues rose 8pc to $26.5bn (£17.6bn) in the final three months of 2014. However, net profits fell from $6.6bn to $5.9bn as slowing PC sales dampened demand for Windows software and the strengthening dollar also hit the company.

Microsoft is the biggest software company in the world and its Windows operating system remains vital to its prospects. Last week, Satya Nadella, the chief executive, revealed that the Windows 10 operating system will be offered free to users of Windows 8, while the company also wooed the technology industry by unveiing its HoloLens headset.

The results from Microsoft were in line with Wall Street expectations, with sales boosted by the acquisition of Nokia’s phone business last year, but shares in the company fell on the back of the figures.

Mr Nadella said: “Microsoft is continuing to transform, executing against our strategic priorities and extending our cloud leadership.

“We are taking bold steps forward across our business, and specifically with Windows 10, to deliver new experiences, new categories, and new opportunities to our customers.”

Microsoft said that sales of the Surface tablet rose 24pc to $1bn, while advertising revenue from the Bing search engine rose 23pc. However, revenue from Windows dropped 13pc.

Overall, sales of devices and consumer products rose 8pc to $12.9bn for Microsoft, with the company selling 10.5m phones in the period and 6.6m Xbox consoles.

This growth was ahead of the 5pc rise in revenues in Microsoft’s commercial business to $13.3bn, despite a 114pc surge in revenues from the company’s commercial cloud operations, which was driven by sales of Office 365, Azure and Dynamic.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer, said: “We again saw enthusiasm and demand around our cloud offerings like Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Azure, as well as Surface Pro 3.”