Facebook and Twitter step up ad offerings

Facebook and Twitter have both made further moves to increase the appeal of their social networks to advertisers by offering enhanced targeting and content respectively.


Twitter has partnered with a number of media brands including The Wall Street Journal, Time and The New York Times to allow them to feature “expanded” tweets in the news feed.

When users click to expand tweets with these partner brands they can now see content previews – such as headlines and standfirsts from news stories – images and videos.

Twitter says the move makes it easier for users to discover content from the web and gives partner brands more opportunities to get noticed in the often busy news feed.

Meanwhile, Facebook is opening up real time bidding for adverts on its platform for the first time.

Facebook Exchange allows advertisers to bid in real time for a specific ad impression, allowing them to deliver more targeted and timely advertising at scale.

The Exchange platform will let advertisers from retailers, for example, be able to target people who searched outside of Facebook on the web for a specific product but then did not complete their purchase. That person can then be served a relevant ad on Facebook.

Facebook says it does not share any user data with advertisers and adds that its users will continue to have the same control over the ads they see on the site.

The process is enabled through browser cookies, which users can opt out of on specific sites or via their browser. Facebook also allows opt outs on its site via its “About ads” page and by clicking “x” on the ad itself.

There has been much debate about the best form of action website owners should take when seeking permission from users to use cookies on their site, since a European Union-wide directive came into force last month.

Research seen by Marketing Week suggests that using a form of “implicit” consent is so far leading to the highest consent rates from users.