Despite being one of the world’s largest social networks, and boasting a user base in the hundreds of millions, Twitter has struggled to actually turn a profit. As we have previously reported, this year, for the first time ever, the company came out in the black, but only with a mere $9 million of profits, a miniscule amount for a company as big, and as heavily invested in as Twitter. In order to improve this situation the company needs to find new ways of generating advertising revenue.
In addition to well-founded rumours that the company is working on creating a online shopping function, it is now revealed that they are also trialling the deployment of a new form of advertising for companies. This is coming in the form of sponsored video ads which will appear in the Twitter News Feed.
They will be embedded in the same manner as normal tweets and common sponsored tweets, and appear as part of the Twitter timeline’s ‘cards’. The videos contained in these ‘cards’ will not be auto play, but rather can be activated with a single click from a user, and watched within the Twitter environment. Twitter plans to charge an advertiser based on the number of times their video is played through this system.
This move comes as part of a wider push to both increase company revenues.
This move comes as part of a wider push to both increase company revenues, and also make the website more visually interesting. This push includes the relatively recent addition of image and video previews within the Twitter feed, as well the latest redesign of user’s profile page, which many have claimed made the previously text-heavy social network seem like a “second Facebook”.
While this sponsored video content will probably appeal to some users, it remains to be seen if Twitter will face the same level of user backlash that Facebook did when it brought in auto-playing video ads. The key factor will be whether the company can maintain the right balance between interesting content and paid advertisements, that both retains user base and also encourages advertising click-throughs and increased revenue.
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