Twitter rolled out several changes and updates to its platform in 2017. One of the largest announcements was the increase of the character limit on Tweets from 140 to 280, but they also made a few other changes at the end of 2017 that advertisers and agencies should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know about the latest updates to maximize your performance in 2018.
Twitter Launched Video Website Cards
In Q4 2017, Twitter launched a Video Website Card ad format. Twitter describes the new ad format as “a creative format that combines the power of video with the ability to drive users back to a site to learn more or take action in the moment.” The new ad unit begins as an auto-playing video with a customizable headline and then opens up to a larger video and website preview. It then ultimately drives viewers to the advertiser’s chosen website when they click on it. These new ad units can be optimized for several different goals, including video views, clicks, or awareness. Like all paid social ad units, advertisers and agencies should be strategic when determining their optimization logic for the Video Website Cards, keeping in mind campaign goals and business objectives.
It’s Getting Easier to Thread Tweets
By adding a plus button in the composer, Twitter is making it easier for users to thread Tweets. Now users can connect their thoughts and publish a threaded Tweet simultaneously. Users can continue to add more Tweets to the published thread at any time with the new “Add another Tweet” button. Twitter has also made it faster and easier to spot a thread with a “Show this thread” label.
Advertisers and agencies looking to use threaded Tweets should consider campaign goals and prioritize content. A majority of users may only see the first Tweet, but those who view subsequent Tweets may be more engaged.
Twitter Lite with Lower Data Usage Becomes Available in 24 New Countries
Following a successful trial in the Philippines, Twitter is rolling out a “lite” version of its platform. Similar to Facebook Lite, this version of Twitter will be optimized for developing countries. It will minimize data usage, making it more accessible in areas where data plans are costly.
The lite version of the platform will become available in two dozen countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Advertisers and agencies should keep an eye on Twitter usage in these countries to determine if the new version means more users and/or time spent on the platform.
Increased Transparency For Ads on Twitter
Twitter has announced steps to dramatically increase transparency, similarly to Facebook, for all ads including those political and issue-based. According to Twitter, it will also be improving controls for customers and adopting stricter advertising policies. Learn more about their plans here.
Twitter has Started Rolling Out A Video View Count
Twitter has started rolling out a video view count similar to that of YouTube and Facebook. Videos shared on Twitter will now feature a tally of the number of people who watched. According to AdAge, “Twitter is holding to Media Rating Council standards to account for views—one view equals 2 seconds of play time with at least 50 percent of the video on the screen.” Note the count will not show on livestreams or special shows from media partners like BuzzFeed and Bloomberg. However, as AdAge points out, this change won’t significantly impact brands, who already have access to view counts within the advertising interface.