Last year during the Q3 earnings call, Twitter had more logged out users than logged in ones. “Logged out” users — those who visit the site but are either not logged in or have never registered on Twitter — were anywhere from one to two times as big as the number of monthly active users, CTO Anthony Noto had said.
At that point of time Twitter had given hints that it’s thinking about targeting these users too. A year later when Twitter is still struggling with user growth and to an extent revenue too, it has announced that it is finally going to target the 500+ million people who visit Twitter each month without logging in.
The first Promoted Tweet tests will be desktop only and will appear in two places: profile pages and Tweet detail pages. Also, Twitter says the initial focus will be on campaigns to drive website clicks and conversions, as well as video views.
This also includes people who click on links to Tweets in Google search, who will now be able to consume branded, Promoted content alongside organic Tweets.
The beta test that is happening with selected advertisers in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia with more geographies in the future will let marketers tap into a new Twitter audience. “By letting marketers scale their campaigns and tap into the total Twitter audience, they will be able to speak to more people in new places using the same targeting, ad creative, and measurement tools. Marketers can now maximize the opportunities they have to connect with that audience,” said Deepak Rao, Revenue Product Manager at Twitter.
The Street seems to like the move, sending shares up about 7 percent in early trading Thursday.
This is going to be a big deal for marketers as Twitter states in its advertising pitch – “We know who you are because we see what you tweet, who you follow and what kinds of things you engage with.”
These new ads which will run in Twitter’s core “Promoted Tweet” format has the potential to generate at about half the rate of usual Twitter ads. The difference will be in the targeting. Instead of monetizing a user’s interests, Twitter will monetize the context in which a user comes across a tweet.
For instance Twitter may not know your preferences or your liking towards cricket but it knows that you came to Twitter after searching cricket on Google. This is a valuable data and enough reasons for marketers to target them on Twitter.
Talking to Re/Code Twitter COO and revenue boss Adam Bain informed, “You may see promoted products based on what you search for within the app, and that’s what you can expect with these new logged-out ads, too. I’m not suggesting that logged out will be as high signal as search results in Twitter, but we do have a lot of great signal that we’ll use about the context that user is in to bring relevant ads to the table.”
In a most recent round of estimates, eMarketer predicted that Twitter’s ongoing lowered growth estimates will affect its ad business. The bigger bad news for Twitter is that US – which gets the company its maximum revenue – has been at a standstill with user growth. There has been almost no growth from Q3, 2014 and from 2015’s previous quarters the growth has completely stopped.