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How Twitter’s Latest API Change Makes Advertising Genuinely Interesting

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I’ll admit I was a little late to the party with Twitter. However, in just a few short months on the micro-blogging site I am quickly realizing its potential as a communication vehicle. Twitter recently announced Twitter Ads API (Application Programming Interface). I don’t have a long history with Twitter to draw from, but from what I can gather, this is pretty big news for advertisers. And for Twitter as a company.

So here’s an excerpt from the official announcement from the Twitter advertising blog:

“As marketers, you’ll soon have the ability to work with our initial set of Ads API partners to manage Twitter Ad campaigns — and integrate them into your existing cross-channel advertising strategies. Equally important, users will continue to see the most relevant Promoted Tweets from advertisers. With the Ads API, marketers now have more tools in their arsenal to help them deliver the right message, to the right audience, on the desktop and on mobile devices — all at scale.”

Previously, businesses that advertised on Twitter could only upload one individual ad at a time. Very limiting. They also had to do so through Twitter, rather than using an ad management platform (i.e. managing Facebook via Power Editor).

With this change however, advertisers will be able to work with Twitter’s API to create more in-depth and targeted ad campaigns, as well as integrate Twitter advertising into broader strategies and across multiple platforms and sites. The initial 5 partners include: Adobe, Hootsuite, Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital with many more seemingly on the way.

So, in essence, it is now much easier for companies to advertise on Twitter. Which in turn likely means a big jump in revenue for Twitter. And a corresponding jump in the number of ads consumers will see. It will be interesting to see how users react to this. There is always a fine line between monetization and user experience, especially for Twitter. Unlike Facebook, Twitter does not have a right hand column expressly for ads.

Anticipating this line of thinking, the Twitter advertising blog goes on to say:

“As interest in Twitter has grown, our focus has been on delivering better ads for users, not more ads. We believe our system is working well because users like the ads experience on Twitter. Our system rewards marketers for being good, not for being loud. And this approach encourages ads that are engaging, relevant and useful.”  

Time will tell, but I think this position underscores a “trending” social media truism: content is indeed king. More than ever, advertising today is a two-way conversation. And like any conversation, being genuine and interesting are much more effective than loudly talking about yourself.

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