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OTTAWA — An Liberal ad campaign worth over $11,000 is the first purchase recorded in Twitter’s new transparency centre for Canadian political ads.

The Liberal Party of Canada is, as of Friday, the only political campaigning advertiser listed in Twitter’s online database (along with the party’s French-language account).

The Liberals have spent roughly $11,400 promoting four tweets since the first full day of campaigning Thursday.

The most expensive campaign — which includes several tweets — had cost about $4,800 so far and racked up around 280,000 “impressions,” a count of how often the tweet has appeared in users’ timelines.

Twitter’s transparency centre allows the public to see the targeted audience and reach of a given tweet campaign. The audience reached by the Liberals’ most expensive campaign is highly concentrated in Toronto (around 30 per cent), Vancouver (12 per cent), Calgary (six per cent) and other major Canadian cities.

It also reached an overwhelmingly male audience, with men seeing roughly 68 per cent of all impressions so far.

Promoted tweets are usually priced per “engagement” — a favourite, retweet, click or reply — so the cost of the campaigns will rise over time.

The promoted-tweets campaigns all began Sept. 12 and are set to last until Oct. 16, five days before election day.

The ads were paid for via Data Sciences, an analytics firm the Liberal Party has worked with in the past.

The spending so far on Twitter is dwarfed by what the major parties have already shelled out for ads on Facebook. The Liberals currently have hundreds of active ads on that platform, and spent more than $50,000 just in the week prior to the election call Sept. 11.

The Conservatives have about 180 active ads and have spent $45,000 on Facebook during that same time, while the NDP spent about $30,000.

Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Press

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