New Twitter Ads…Did You See Them?

by Drew Hannush

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May
3

It looks like Twitter has launched its new ad space.  Again, a social media outlet has to resort to traditional marketing methods to begin justifying itself to its venture capital backers.

But Twitter’s business model is one in which it is basically just a database, rather than a website portal for information.  Many of us never go to Twitter.com.  And it would be interesting to know how many people actually use third party tools for all of their accessing of Twitter.  In my case, I do all of my work in HootSuite and other apps that just access Twitter feeds.

So, how long before Twitter advertisers figure this out?

Not only are these ads on a page that probably doesn’t get viewed much, but also, their static position at the bottom of the page will probably create a Twitter ad avoidance area (ad avoidance being the area of web pages that users learn to avoid once they become established as advertising areas).

For those of you that haven’t seen the ads yet, I have highlighted one in yellow below:

Twitter Ad Fail
Not that I am baiting Twitter to start throwing these ads directly into your thread, but I really think its the only way they will be able to show value to their advertisers.  In adding ads to your thread, they force you to have to look through legitimate posts and figure out which ones are ads…thus reducing avoidance and issues with people not going to the Twitter website  But I think they are worried that doing this will upset the apple cart all together and that people will see Twitter as a spam engine…thus causing some people to give up on the medium.

I truly believe making revenue will continue to be the biggest issue facing the social media giants for the next couple of years.

For the advertiser though, in this case (using Twitterspeak), I’d say #adfail.

15 comments
Cape Coral Property Management
Cape Coral Property Management

Social media is one of the best ways to advertise. To increase your site visits and to meet some serious buyers. Advertising in social media like twitter is worth it. This is the new killer way if you wanted to be on top.

StephRWong
StephRWong

hm I never really paid attention to the Twitter ads since they've kept them pretty low-key (especially compared to Facebook). But even if they do start to get really obnoxious and in our Twitter feed, that's just how the cycle of social media works. They have to get money somehow! As the others have said, at least there are programs like Tweetdeck and Hoosuite!

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

I'm not against Twitter trying to monetize. I always think of it from this perspective that well, I'm not paying anything to use the service that I use every day. So good for them if they find a way to make it work. It's unfortunate in this case that it seems they're catching on and trying a little too late. They should have been playing this sooner - testing and trying new things.

I don't mind the ads sitting where they currently are. But I would certainly mind if they were in my stream.

eclectitech
eclectitech

Hi Drew, you are right that there is a big audience missing for them, but the acquisition of Tweetdeck will change that some. With regard to the stats of users of their native and non-native apps - there is actually some interesting data from my @sysomos team (social media monitoring and analytics group) in their blog post here: http://blog.sysomos.com/2011/03/15/non-official-twitter-clients-still-widely-used/

in short, 58% of interaction is actually on Twitter native apps. I, for one, use Hootsuite some, but on my phone is where most of my tweeting happens and the native Twitter app is the one I have found to be the best and most reliable.

bradleydurham
bradleydurham

Twitter has been using "Promoted" tweets for a while now. They show up in my Hootsuite stream. They are basically ads. Unless I am mistaken.

nullvariable
nullvariable

People get really ad blind though. Might be a good place for targeting a certain audience. Perhaps twitter will start pushing ads to API users that don't display on the site...

LynxToTweet
LynxToTweet

@StephRWong Very true that sooner or later, companies have to find a way to survive off of more than just venture capital. I guess we should enjoy the ride while it lasts. HootSuite is also working on embedding ads and Twitter bought Tweetdeck, so there will likely be no outlet now that is ad free.

hannush
hannush moderator

@eclectitech@sysomos Interesting thoughts. I've used TweetDeck, but switched to HootSuite myself. I actually use the HootSuite app for my phone because when I installed the Twitter app on my Droid it synced my 3,000 Twitter contacts which made the phone basically useless. I like the HootSuite app for Droid.

In the end, customer results will determine if this goes the way of the banner ad (lingers but is a hard sell with little return).

hannush
hannush moderator

@LFJeremy Hope all is going well for you. It says a lot that you haven't seen the ads. You're pretty active in the Twitter world. So that doesn't bode well for their efforts.

hannush
hannush moderator

@bradleydurham As far as I know, those are promoted "HootSuite" ads, rather than Twitter. I complained about them showing up in my stream one day, and was told I could get rid of them if I paid for the Pro version of HootSuite.

hannush
hannush moderator

@nullvariable Yeah, I am assuming this is the next step. But I think they're afraid to do it...only because I believe it really only signifies the beginning of the end of interruption free social (see MySpace).

StephRWong
StephRWong

@LynxToTweet That's sad news! Well, I guess there's no escaping haha. But yes, let's all enjoy it for now (or at least try and ignore ads later on). Thanks for the post!

nullvariable
nullvariable

@hannush @nullvariable did you see that they just supposedly bought TweetDeck? It will definitely be interesting to watch. Let's hope they don't ruin it :)