The update was made at the Consumer Electronics Shows last week (9 Jan) during a presentation to media buyers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Reports suggest that Twitter will provide advertising on news streams that are located on external websites and apps.
There is not yet a clear explanation of how this strategy would be executed, but the Wall Street Journal claimed that it is possible revenue would be shared between Twitter and the publishers. US companies ESPN and Flipboard are currently thought to be in talks with Twitter to trial including ads in the news stream on their properties.
While Twitter is yet to confirm the news, the move is in-keeping with Twitter’s wider strategy over the past year to grow revenue through ad sales. A Twitter spokeswoman did not respond on a request to comment.
During Twitter’s financial analyst day (12 November 2014) it announced that it would extend the reach of its advertising beyond its own service as it looks to accelerate ad revenue growth. With its rate of user growth slowing, it added 13 million new users in its most recent quarter compared to 16 million in the prior period, Twitter is looking externally for ways to boost its business model.
Chris Pearce, joint CEO of TMW Unlimited says: “Twitter’s growth has been slowing so by using third-party publishers Twitter reduces its reliance on the relentless need for new users, whilst also earning incremental revenue.”
The targeting opportunity
The move to bring ads to the streams of tweets on third-party publisher sites could create further targeting opportunities, according to Andy Pringle, performance media director at Performics UK. For example, sports brands could target the tweet streams found on sports websites, making them more likely to reach their target audience.
Pringle adds: “It will provide new opportunities for brands and their agencies to target, segment and optimise their campaign targeting.”
Pearce, however, believes that while Twitter may be able to create a targeted ad network by using other publisher’s sites, how the ads are presented will shape the level of engagement.
He says: “We don’t know how the ads will look, let alone how content will appear but brands will have to consider which third-party publishers should be conveying their messages.”