Advertising on twitter which was previously by invitation only, is now available to everyone.  The company started the program in March 2012 with a handful of custom-chosen clients in order to test the system and get feedback.  Here’s what they said:

“Over the past year we’ve listened carefully to feedback from the thousands of businesses and individuals who’ve had access to the self-serve tool, and made enhancements based on their suggestions, including more targeting and reporting in the UI. It’s because of this feedback that effective today, we’re ending our invite-only period and opening signups for our self-serve ad platform to all users in the U.S.”

According to an article on gigaom.com, the testing period was used among other reasons, to make the appearing ads more relevant to the user.  For example, if you mention your favorite football team you may see an ad for team attire or something similar.  They give the following example:  mention ice cream and you may see an ad for Ben & Jerry’s.

Ads may also appear based upon the accounts that you follow.

It’s a self-serve platform, so it’s easy to set-up.  If you know that a significant portion of your target market uses twitter it may be worth your time to check it out.  It may not immediately drive business to you, but depending upon the nature of your business, it may be beneficial over time.