Social networking site Twitter will allow paid advertising via “Promoted Tweets” for the first time, the company’s boss Dick Costolo revealed on Tuesday.

“The idea behind Promoted Tweets is that we want to enhance the communications that companies are already having with customers on Twitter,” Mr. Costolo told the U.S. daily New York Times.

The first companies to market their products in this way are to include coffee house chain Starbucks, the airline Virgin America and the U.S. electronics company Best Buy.

Though many companies, such as Starbucks, already use Twitter to promote their products, their tweets get lost in the mass of tweets which might happen to mention the product.

Now when a user searches for a particular word which has been bought by a company, the Promoted Tweet will come up top, even if the message was posted much earlier.

Twitter was founded four years ago and has over 22 million users, a number which is steadily increasing. Until now however, the network has been slow to work out how to make money from its users.