Twitter’s got a bit of a problem on its hands: quite simply, it’s not making any money. In fact, it’s now starting to lose revenue and the tech giant knows it needs to rethink its approach to social advertising.
So what’s the plan? Well, it seems like the network is ready to trim the fat on some of its underperforming ad formats. While it’s also pointing to some encouraging market growth in the Asia-Pacific – so what does this mean for all the Twitter advertisers out there?
Twitter to drop underperforming ads?
Throughout 2016, Twitter earned itself a reputation for being stuck in an identity crisis. However, the network insists it knows exactly what it is: “the best and fastest place to see what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about”.
The trouble it’s having is monetising this role in society. It seems a number of its existing ad formats aren’t cutting the mustard. According to TechCrunch, the promoted Tweets and direct-response ads that feature so heavily on the network’s rapidly moving feed could be in line for the cut.
We’re not sure exactly what source TechCrunch is getting this at information from (if any) but Twitter is clearly on a mission to downsize its collection of advertising products.
“We are taking a step back and looking to simplify our product and putting our resources behind those products that we think have the greatest probability of success” – Twitter COO, Anthony Noto
Whether this means changing fundamental ad formats like promoted Tweets or dropping them altogether remains to be seen. One thing that is safe to assume, though, is Twitter needs to find a way to turn video ads into its key stream of advertising revenue.
Can Twitter become a key player in video ads?
Facebook is setting the standard for everyone else to follow in video advertising but Twitter is struggling to replicate the success of Zuckerberg’s network. Video advertising is widely accepted as the now and future of online advertising – so much so that (relative) newcomer Snapchat is almost exclusively a video advertising channel.
Snapchat’s future is anything but clear, of course. In fact, there are plenty of questions hanging over its business model – but Twitter execs will surely be envious of how naturally the network caters for video ads.
It’s not as if Twitter hasn’t tried to establish itself as a key player in video advertising. The network bought and later shut down Vine, which was once seen as the rising new star of social video. It’s also pushing the notion of video livestreaming pretty hard but it doesn’t seem to be enough. People aren’t turning to Twitter for their video fix and the fast-paced scrolling nature of the platform makes it challenging to fit ads into video plays.
Whatever Twitter has in store for us this year, it will be exciting to see what the network comes up with. One thing you can guarantee is that video will be the main aim for Twitter – whether it be trough the network itself or a third-party platform – and this will make Twitter advertising a different kind of prospect entirely. So be sure to follow our updates on Twitter news because it’s going to be a very interesting few years for the network.