Social-media company Twitter has 320 million active users. Its users are presented targeted adds. However, there are 500 million people visiting Twitter each month without logging in. Now the company seeks to reach these ‘logged-out’ users as well and experiments with new targeted-adds. The experiment affects users in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan with other countries following in the future.
Twitter manager Deepak Rao said that tweets in Google search will also feature the new targeted adds. The branded, promoted content will appear alongside the organic tweets in the twitter timeline. As such, marketers are able to target a much larger audience. Previously, the issue was that when ‘logged-out’ users clicked on an embedded tweet to visit a profile, they didn’t see targeted adds. Now promoted, targeted tweets are also presented to these users. This unlocks a huge potential for advertisers since they’re also able to measure the results on a much wider audience, in theory. This could help solving Twitter’s problem with converting the mass use of its platform.
Unlocking potential revenues by reaching a larger audience is in fact necessary for Twitter. The San Francisco-based company is struggling to convince investors that its service will become profitable in the future. Despite a revenue growth of 58% to $569 million during the third quarter, the company is still loss making. The most recent third quarter saw losses of $132 million and analysts expect another $118.4 million of losses. Consensus is that 2018 will be the first profitable year for Twitter. The issue is that growth of users is slowing down. Actually user-growth came at a standstill during the last quarter with only 1.6% more users logging in at least once a month. New CEO Jack Dorsey task is to make the platform more attractive to advertisers to boost revenues and conversion.
The issue is that personalize adds for logged-out users may prove to be difficult. One option is to provide context. For example when a user bumped into a tweet while using Google search, the search keyword will be used to provide targeted adds. For example when an user is used the keyword car, he will see adds of car dealers or car brands in the twitter timeline.
There is however a bigger issue. Some media and advertising experts have doubts that targeted adds are effective. Think about non-targeting television adds as an opposite. Sometimes potential consumers become interested in a brand name when seeing a general add during a particular event. The add will raise brand-awareness. The marketer could reach a much bigger audience then in the case one is targeting a consumer who is looking for a very specific topic. Targeted adds are most of the time directed towards users who are already familiar with the product or brand. The add will be highly ineffective, despite reaching a perfect fit! So some media experts see a huge gap between the focused tech geeks and the more social-aware advertising experts. But if there’s a sector who should be able to bridge this gap, it would be social media.