15th October 2021
Twitter made a number of announcements this week including tests of a new ad format directly in Tweet conversations, updates to Carousel Ads and a new Spaces accelerator program to pay live audio creators.
Tweet conversation ads: Twitter is testing a new ad format inside conversation threads. Those who are part of the global test, which is on iOS and Android devices only, will see ads after the first, third or eighth reply under a Tweet and Twitter also plans to make the in-conversation ads contextually relevant to the topic being discussed. The company said it would experiment with the format over the coming months and test different frequencies, layouts, insertion points etc. to determine if it’s something that will become a permanent feature.
The initial response from some users hasn’t been positive, however Twitter believes that the ads will add value to the conversation rather than detracting from it and the company hinted at potential revenue share with creators saying: “we’re excited about trying this out for our advertisers and we’re eager to explore how it could open the door for additional opportunities to reward Tweet authors and creators”.
Multi-Destination Carousels: Twitter also made some updates to its Performance advertising products and discovery tools. Its Carousel Ad format, which launched last November will now give advertisers the option to ad custom headlines and landing page URLs into each individual frame of their Carousel Ads, providing more options to build responsive ads for different audiences within one campaign as users can engage with multiple images/videos and click through to different destinations. Previous tests of this multi-destination functionality apparently saw a 20% increase in click-through rates compared to single-asset ads.
Twitter is also testing other Website Clicks products: ‘Site Visit Optimization’ is an improved buying model dedicated to finding and serving ads to audiences most likely to visit an advertiser’s website; ‘Ad formats’ identifies opportunities to improve ad engagement on Twitter where tests include updates to usability, format details, and calls-to-action and ‘Measurement & Reporting’ actively tests and builds ‘1st party measurement and experimentation solutions for a privacy-preserved future’.
Twitter Spaces Spark Program: Twitter also announced plans for a new three-month accelerator programme to support Twitter Spaces creators, in a move similar to rival Clubhouse. The Spark programme initiative intends to discover and reward around 150 creators in the US who have more than 5,000 active followers. Recipients will receive financial, marketing and technical support in the form of a $2,500 per month stipend plus $500 in monthly ad credits to spend promoting their Spaces on Twitter as well as early access to new Twitter features.
Twitter has launched a host of new features in recent months to retain and grow its user and creator base and grow revenue, but not all of them have been successful. It continues to look at ways to monetize the platform through focusing on advertising products and showing more ads and is hoping it can strike the right balance between advertising and usability for its dedicated audience.