Twitter continues to push out updates in its ongoing efforts to improve the functionality of its offerings.
In April last year, Twitter unveiled the Twitter Publisher Network, a new advertising option which enabled marketers to drive app installs and engagements both on Twitter's platform and off, through MoPub's mobile app marketplace. MoPub, which Twitter purchased for $350 million back in 2013, claims to be the world's leading ad server for mobile application publishers, reaching more than a billion unique devices and handling more than 130 billion ad requests every month. At the time of launch, Twitter claimed that ads through the Twitter Publisher Network could reach 'more than 241 million active users on Twitter and more than 1 billion devices off Twitter', all serviceable through Twitter's advertising platform.
Now Twitter's looking to expand its Publisher Network - but also, they're not sure 'Publisher Network' best reflects the aims of what they're trying to do.
"It's really around audience - their goal is to reach a particular audience and leverage the unique data and signals that Twitter has," Twitter's senior director of revenue products Ameet Ranadive told TechCrunch.
As a result, the Twitter Publisher Network will henceforth be known as the 'Twitter Audience Platform', and they've announced a range of new features to help advertisers better utilize the combined Twitter/MoPub ad offering.
Through Twitter's Audience platform, two additional objectives have been added to the mix to help advertisers maximize reach across both Twitter and MoPub's app network. Tweet engagements and video views will be made available to app advertisers for the first time.
From the official announcement:
"You can now easily extend your Promoted Video and Tweet engagement campaigns to the Twitter Audience Platform with a single click. Many of the targeting signals used on Twitter such as interest, username, and keyword can be applied to your campaigns across mobile apps. As on Twitter, Promoted Videos on the Twitter Audience Platform can play automatically on a device with all video being 100% in-view."
The new Twitter Audience Platform app option will transform promoted tweets into in-app formats
The system will enable advertisers to show Promoted Tweets in apps, translating tweet content into app formats, as shown in the image above. For example, tweet engagement campaigns on Twitter will become interstitial and native ads, promoted video campaigns are turned into in-app video ads. Users can now also re-tweet and favorite directly from Twitter Audience Platform ads, in app, extending the reach of Twitter campaigns. There's also new, customizable, call-to-action buttons to help advertisers better drive the desired audience response.
To underline the potential of these new options, Twitter has also provided some examples of success stories they've seen so far in testing of the new Audience Platform offering, including Macy's, JBL and Samsung.
Twitter says that, advertisers who've run campaigns across both Twitter and the Twitter Audience Platform have been able to double their reach and lower CPEs by as much as 30%.
"Additionally, a June 2015 study that we commissioned from MediaScience showed that consumers - both on and off Twitter users - spent about 123% more time with Twitter Audience Platform ads compared to traditional mobile interstitial ads."
Twitter also notes that non-Twitter users who saw Twitter Audience Platform ads expressed 11% more positive sentiment towards the brand advertiser. Those are interesting stats, and they definitely go some way towards prompting more consideration from advertisers about the extended options on offer.
A Winning Move?
Targeting users in app is a great way to extend the reach of your ads, especially with stats showing that the vast majority of time spent on smart phones is spent in apps (up to 85% according to one report). Having an easy option to reach app users like this is a great way for Twitter to boost interest in its ad offerings - the in-app video ads, in particular, look promising.
An example of a Twitter Audience Platform in-app video ad
Twitter's working hard to boost interest in its ad offerings and wider appeal - most notably in the form of increased user growth, which has proven elusive for the micro-blog giant. Such struggles have seen the company's share price fall, hitting all-time lows and sparking rumors of a possible takeover. In this sense, the company needs a few solid wins to maintain its position and get it back on track - its deal with Google to index tweets, Project Lightning and improvement in their ad options are all considered major steps along this path. The change to the Audience Platform is one small part of the bigger puzzle, but more innovative and wide-reaching ad options like this will definitely play a part in improving Twitter's ad potential, and subsequently, in winning back the confidence and support of the analyst community.