With Tesla boss Elon Musk recently taking a 9% stake in Twitter, there are many questions about what future changes could be in store for the social media company. For brands, it’s clear that Twitter would like to grow advertising revenues, as Twitter started experimenting with three new ad formats at the end of March. The three new categories — Interactive Text Ads, Product Explorer Ads, and Collection Ads – can be seen by Twitter users on iOS, Android, and the web in the US.
Interactive Text Ads incorporate larger typeface, Product Explorer Ads enable users to view objects in 3D, and Collection Ads spotlight a large image alongside up to five smaller thumbnail pictures. Twitter has not guaranteed that these formats will become long-term ad solutions, noting that it’s going to “test, learn and iterate based on performance and customer feedback.”
Twitter executives explained to Adweek, “We see a future for Twitter ads where our products can: Give advertisers opportunities for more creative storytelling and brand expression across every stage of the funnel; offer consumers a more immersive, rewarding and interactive ad experience; and help advertisers further lean into and unlock the power of conversation on Twitter. You’ll see us experiment with ad formats that help us work toward these goals and bring this ad vision to life on Twitter.”
Some of the big-name brands who’ve signed on to test out the new ad formats with Twitter include Bud Light, Oreo, Wendy’s, Bose, Lexus, and New Balance. If one or more of the formats proves successful, it’s likely that many more top brands will look to gain more exposure via Twitter as well. As noted by Techcrunch, Twitter is under a bit of shareholder pressure to make good on its promise to grow its user base and double its revenue from $3.7 billion in 2020 to $7.5 billion or more in 2023. Twitter has struggled to grow its users, so if it can boost ad revenues from its current base, that could help the company partially reach its goal.
The good news for Twitter is that its users in the US are quite receptive to advertising. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, almost one-quarter of Twitter users have clicked on an ad or sponsor in the past week, which puts the platform ahead of both Facebook and Instagram and on the same level with TikTok. Twitter is also tied with TikTok for the percent of users purchasing an item through an ad, but comes out ahead of the short-form video platform for users visiting company pages or profiles.
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