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Twitter considers increasing the number of ads in your feed

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Dick Costolo says ads are a revenue source the company has yet to explore fully

Kimberly White/Getty Images

Twitter may increase the amount of ad content in user streams in 2015, the New York Times reports. During a keynote address at a tech investors conference in San Francisco yesterday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo addressed the company's revenue expansion plans, which include growing its core business model of inserting ads into Twitter streams.

Costolo said the company has discussed increasing the ad load to about 5 percent of the content you view on Twitter, which would work out to roughly one ad every 20 tweets. "That may not be exactly where it lands, but you can think about it as eventually being in that range," Costolo said. "We're well below that now, so we've got tons of room to grow there." Notably, Facebook also aims for about 5 percent of its posts to be ads. Twitter's current ratio, based on an unscientific count, appears to be around one ad for every 25 to 30 non-ads.

Five percent of your Twitter stream will be ads

Although stream ads are Twitter's core revenue source, the company has several plans to extend its reach. Earlier this month we reported that Twitter and Google had inked a deal that would put tweets inside Google search results. The company also recently announced it would syndicate promoted tweets outside of Twitter.

Last month the company began rolling out its video function in an attempt to compete with Facebook and increase the amount of time users spend on the service. "Content creators want to go into an ecosystem, deliver a great experience to users and tell stories, and then make money from it," Costolo said.

Twitter posted its fourth quarter earnings last week. While the company's quarterly revenue grew 97 percent year over year, its user growth has stalled, increasing less than 2 percent from the last quarter. Twitter will need to work on catering to the needs of its user base — like a way to deal with harassment — if it wants more people to see its ads.

Correction, 3 p.m.: This post has been updated to clarify and add context to Costolo's remarks. An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Costolo wanted users to see an ad every 20 tweets.