Twitter has released its API (application programming interface) for advertisers today, initially allowing marketers to work with a select group of partners to control, purchase, and manage their advertisements on the social network using third-party tools. The ads API enables marketers to integrate their Twitter advertisements with cross-platform management software, and they will also be able to customize Twitter's tools to suit their needs.

Twitter has historically been wary of giving too much power to advertisers out of fears that it will spoil the service, and it's clear that is still a concern as the social network is only partnering with five companies at first to use the ads API. Adobe, Hootsuite, Salesforce, SHIFT, and TBG Digital will be the first "beta" partners. On its website, Twitter says it is limiting the program to such a small group in order to "allow us to collaborate at the level we feel is required." Facebook's ads API launched in private beta in late 2009 (followed by an official launch in 2011), and LinkedIn released its own ads API last November.