Twitter Rolls Out New Advertising Features, Revamped Algorithm Ahead of E-Commerce Push


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Twitter on Tuesday rolled out new advertisement features and revamped the algorithm that decides which advertisements users see, as part of an effort to lay the groundwork to launch future e-commerce features, the social networking company told Reuters.

The new features come as Twitter is pushing to grow its performance advertising business, a strategy that aims to quickly generate sales, and constituted just 15 percent of Twitter’s business last year. The effort could help Twitter reach its goal of doubling annual revenue by 2023.

The San Francisco-based company is positioning itself to eventually allow brands to sell products through the service by first improving on its ability to show users relevant advertisements and increasing the likelihood they will click the advertisement.

“Performance advertisements are a very large opportunity … that’s relatively untapped for us,” said Kamara Benjamin, group product manager at Twitter, in an interview. “Ultimately, this is going to lead to people installing apps, visiting websites and finding products that meet their needs.”

Advertisements promoting downloads for mobile games and other apps, which are a major type of advertisement on social media sites, will now allow users to initiate the download without leaving the Twitter app, the company said in a blog post on Tuesday. Previously, users had to leave Twitter to download other apps.

Twitter added it is working on new tools to let companies run advertisements to find customers who are more likely to make in-app purchases.

Slide-show advertisements that feature multiple products can now send users to different websites when they click the advertisement, whereas previously brands could only choose one destination. This increased the number of clicks by 25 percent on advertisement campaigns that set a goal of driving website visits, the company said.

Twitter also improved the advertising algorithm, showing the advertisements to a larger pool of people at the beginning of the campaign so it can better gauge user interest, Benjamin said.

Those algorithm improvements led to a 36 percent increase in advertisement campaigns that achieved at least five downloads during the time period that the advertisement ran on Twitter, the company said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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