Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Twitter to announce Ad Platform + Bad News for their VC Backers
Supposedly today (or soon) Twitter is going to announce how they will start doing advertising. I am very curious what they think. I felt a sure fire one is Ads on the static web site outside the live feed. I also am curious about the different platforms. I am not sure if tweet deck etc are owned or part of twitter. Which means they then have no choice but to insert ads into the live feed.
That all being said if they insert ads to be clicked through (since they still have the 140 character issue with no graphics) I am curious what the click through rate will be. Obviously unless you click through I can't see a 140 characters being very valuable for an advertisers.
On top of that is this report from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Which means number of accounts mean nothing and number of unique visitors (last month it reached 70 million) mean nothing. If I was advertising I want to know how many people log in once per day because that is the only chance for your ad to be seen. I do say chance. I am an active Tweeter on 4 accounts. I use Tweet Deck. But I also only see maybe 15-20% of the Tweets if that each day. Why? Because I am not watching the feed all the time. There are times during the day that I am. Everything else I never see. But this is no different than almost every other Advertising Medium. You pay for a chance to be seen. The trick for Brands is to value that chance properly and not over pay.
So if an active tweeter is tweeting say 4x per day(very low estimate). Then you need to establish how many like me are on multiple accounts (my case 4)....there probably is only like 5-10 million people on the site using it per day. Which is a lot less impressive and makes Twitter more of a niche. So my feeling is a well placed campaign if Twitter can send an Ad the moment someone logs or Posts a Tweet can reach a few million people. But the Log In or 'Tweet' moment is truly the only moments that can guarantee it is viewed. After that it is a crap shoot. So that 'moment' does have high value.
As for Twitter using Behavioral Targeting based on what a Tweeter tweets I think that actually will not work. If someone uses my post key words to Advertise I will guarantee most will be a misfire. Today I mentioned Toyota several times but I am not in a market for a car, and my Tweets were about the recall. Do I want an Ad from Toyota or competitor? If I state I had a Roast Beef Sandwich for lunch does an Ad from the Chicken Industry have much value? Especially the 140 character limitation. We shall see. Don't forget when firms bid on key words this serves them and not the consumer. It actually will eliminate best choice in favor of who paid the most.
That all being said Twitter has a good side and a bad side. The Good side is like Charlie Rose there are a lot of very intelligent and successful people who use Twitter to network and share ideas. So these are High Value Targets for advertising. There are also a lot of great causes that have tweet streams like Help Haiti.
The Bad side is if you look at some of the hash tags there are some that contain nothing but vile tweets. I was appalled at some of them that attack Progressives and Obama as Nazi's, Terrorists, Marxists, Racism, Death Threats etc. There are plenty of Progressive tags attacking Glenn Beck and such, though Progressives seem to be a bit more passive and less vulgar when you view their Tweets. But does a Brand or Advertiser want to randomly show up in these streams? This has been You Tube's Achilles heal.