Software Architect / Microsoft MVP (AI) and Technical Author

Ads API, AdTech, C#, General Development, Machine Learning, MVC, Prototyping, Sentiment Analysis, Social Media, Twitter

Twitter, #Promote, Social Opinion and San Francisco


Four months have passed since the last post was published – and for good reason.

I submitted an application to obtain access to the Twitter Ads API earlier on in the year.  The application was successful and I was granted access to APIs that allowed me to programmatically create dynamic ad and marketing campaigns within the Twitter ecosystem.

You might be wondering why I was doing all of this.  Twitter launched a global initiative called #Promote, this was a world wide competition with cash incentives ($250,000) and the opportunity to become an Official Twitter Partner.  There were other benefits as well but my main motivations were to become an Official Twitter Partner, to learn as much as I could about the Ads API and to extend Social Opinion to incorporate this new functionality.


I was assigned a contact at Twitter UK to collaborate with who would serve as my chaperone in terms of discussing the unique marketing opportunities within the Twitterverse .  After experimenting with the Ads API and figuring out the calls I had to make, I set out to build a rich set of Ad-Tech features for Social Opinion.

Machine Learning

By leveraging Natural Language Processing and the Sentiment Analysis features of Social Opinion I was able to create and end-to-end solution that allows the product to listen to signals that identify potential sales leads on Twitter.

The product then catalogues these users which can then be subsequently served with a Creative (advert) of the users choice.  All of this enables Social Opinion to deliver the right message at the right time, to the right customer.


These are the types of content you can serve in your ads and Promoted Tweets and can take the form of:

  • App Cards
  • Photo Cards
  • Website Cards
  • Video Cards

You can visit the Twitter Development site if you want to find out more information about these.  With Social Opinion users can produce their own Creatives like the one you can see below.


These can then be attached to Promoted Tweets within a Campaign and served to users that Social Opinion has identified.

Team Twitter

Near the end of development I was contacted by a senior executive from the Twitter HQ in San Francisco and told I had a developed a “solid product” for the #Promote initiative and was subsequently asked to demo and talk through the work I had been doing.  I put together my slide deck, recorded a video and presented these.

The feedback was positive and it’s worth mentioning at this point I had to do all of this work in evenings and at weekends meaning a lot of early rises and late nights.

In the end though I had pulled it off.

Shortly afterwards I was invited to Twitter HQ in San Francisco to attend the final awards ceremony for #Promote which I wasn’t really expecting!

Did I Win #Promote?

Competition was tough and being from the UK meant I was competing against everyone in the EMEA region.  Unfortunately I didn’t win the initiative, I was sent a promising email and told that:

“The unique value that Social Opinion offers to Twitter’s advertisers is clear – we are invested in this partnership and intend to move forward at full speed.”

With this in mind and having spent roughly the past 3-4 months building the Ad-Tech features in my spare time I decided to take a couple of weeks away from Social Opinion to reclaim my evenings and weekends.


Overall the experience was great, I met some great people and the guys at Twitter have been supportive throughout the entire process.  Whenever I had a technical issue they were quick to get back to me and my “chaperone” was was always on-hand to bounce questions or ideas off.

Next steps are to refine the machine algorithms, resolve minor defects, onboard beta users and continue to collaborate with Twitter to extend the feature set to accommodate advertisers needs.

If Twitter run a future #Promote initiative I’d recommend entering, it’s worth it for the experience alone.

Would you like to know more?

Are you interested in trying out the product?

Would you like to collaborate?

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