Twitter Launches New Ad Features and Revamped Algorithm Ahead of Ecommerce Push

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Twitter has rolled out new ad features and overhauled the algorithm that decides which ads users see, as part of an effort to lay the groundwork for launching future e-commerce features, the social networking company told Reuters .

The new features come as Twitter strives to grow its performance-based advertising business, a strategy that aims to generate sales quickly, and which accounted for just 15% of Twitter activity last year. This effort could help Twitter meet its goal of doubling its annual revenue by 2023.

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

“Performance ads are a really big opportunity… which is relatively untapped for us,” Kamara Benjamin, group product manager at Twitter, said in an interview. “Ultimately, it’s going to get people to install apps, visit websites, and find products that meet their needs.”

Ads promoting downloads of mobile games and other apps, which are a major type of advertising 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 quit Twitter to download other apps.

Twitter added that it was working on new tools to allow businesses to serve ads to find customers more likely to make in-app purchases.

Slideshow ads featuring multiple products can now direct users to different websites when they click on the ad, whereas previously brands could only choose one destination. This increased the number of clicks by 25% on ad campaigns that aim to drive website visits, the company said.

Twitter also improved the ad algorithm, serving ads to more people at the start of the campaign to better gauge user interest, Benjamin said.

These algorithm improvements resulted in a 36% increase in ad campaigns that achieved at least five downloads during the ad’s run on Twitter, the company said.


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