4th June 2021
Twitter is testing Fleet ads in the US, starting with 10 advertisers. The ads will appear in between the Fleets of users that consumers follow and will be marked with a ‘promoted’ tag in the top left-hand corner.
Advertisers will be able to create up to 30 seconds of content, with a swipe up call-to-action in this new ad format. This is slightly less than other platforms with similar ad formats - Instagram 120 seconds max and TikTok 60 seconds max.
Fleets were launched globally in November 2020 and are similar to the story format on other social media platforms. Fleets on Twitter only last for 24 hours and the content appears at the top of a user’s news feed. There is a selection of basic creator tools available to create Fleets, such as background colours, stickers and text, and they are mostly used to point to other tweets posted or sharing personal updates. The content options are more limited in Fleets than they are on other platforms' story based offerings.
Advertisers will receive the standard ad metrics: impressions, profile visits, clicks, website visits; and for videos: views, 6s video views, starts, completes and quartile reporting.
Twitter says it wants to see how consumers engage with full screen ads and see how the ads perform generally in this test in order to optimise the format going forward, suggesting it may try to introduce full-screen ads in other areas of the platform.
This is not the first time that Twitter has experimented with full-screen video ads, it also tested these with Moments in 2017 but it never took off and its other ads are less immersive. Fleet ads could be a draw for advertisers on the Twitter platform who might already use this ad format on other platforms, helping them to re-use content. Twitter’s total ad engagement on the platform grew by 11% year-on-year in Q1.
Fleet ads are one of the many ways that Twitter is attempting to diversify its platform and offer a stronger line up of ad options for brands. To increase the platform’s engagement it has also released a new subscription service called ‘Twitter Blue’ that will allow users to pay for premium features such as ‘undo tweet’, bookmarks and reader mode and it has also recently launched a test for ‘shoppable’ tweets.
Twitter diversifying its content offering could be very interesting for advertisers and could make the platform more attractive to brands who already use similar formats on other social platforms. If the new formats make ads on the platform more engaging and improve their effectiveness, it could mean more spend from advertisers on Twitter, something that it has been seeking to drive with its approach of continuing innovation in its ad offering and also new features to try and diversify revenues. The more engaging the platform, the more people will spend more time on it and the more valuable the ad inventory will become.