Twitter just sold your home screen to advertisers

Chris Burns - Feb 9, 2016
Twitter just sold your home screen to advertisers

The folks at Twitter have announced a system called First View, one in which they’ve allowed advertisers to engage you ASAP. The first spot on your Twitter feed right AFTER your first normal tweet – that’s where the first advertisement will reside. “Marketers can drive significant audience reach with the top ad spot in the timeline”, says Twitter – alongside Promoted Trends and Promoted Moments. This is only the latest innovation Twitter has revealed in their effort to monetize their social network.

Twitter has already begun to implement this “First View” initiative across the United States. You may be seeing First View ads right now. “We are able to hit a broad movie-going audience with great video in a way that not just garners views,” said Marc Weinstock of 20th Century Fox, “but actually creates social momentum.”

SEE: Twitter changes will be opt-out

If you’re an advertiser, or President of Domestic Theatrical Marketing for 20th Century Fox like Weinstock is, you don’t just want views.

You don’t just want clicks.

You want people to actually go to the movies.

To get as many people to see AND ENGAGE WITH content like film trailers, companies like Fox are aiming to push their media to your eyeballs in as non-intrusive and natural a way as possible.

You trust your social networking feeds.

You understand implicitly that you’re getting content based on the people you follow, and the content creators you trust.

Twitter will help you to understand the obviousness of the real truth: you really control only most of your feed. The people that give you this service (for free, mind you), need to make money.

As such, they’re going to go ahead and jam some content into your feed as well.

Above you’ll see Twitter’s presentation of First View. Originally a gif, now a movie – much like Twitter’s repackaging of gifs on their own feeds!

“Word of mouth is more important than it has ever been in movie marketing,” said Weinstock in Twitter‘s blog. “And there is no better word of mouth social platform than Twitter.”

Meanwhile, Twitter is promoting ways to “write effective Twitter Ads copy” through their small business blog. There you’ll see Twitter suggesting that advertisers use words like “hurry,” “fast,” “now,” “quick,” “running out,” “supplies last,” and “limited time.”

SERIOUSLY: Twitter tipped to change timeline entirely

Twitter also suggests that advertisers show you, the reader, discounts for products using percentages instead of price-based discounts. They tell ad-makers to ask you questions. They suggest that advertisers create prizes and competitions to engage you.

They suggest that Tweets with between 40 and 60 characters of copy are better than longer Tweets.

Perhaps most important of all, they suggest that advertisers stop using hashtags. “Promoted Tweets with hashtags see a 24% higher CPA and a 3% lower LCR. Keep the audience focused on your call to action and don’t include a hashtag in your Tweet copy.”

Imagine that!

Hashtags, they imply, only serve to move readers away from the subject at hand.

They want you in on their product, clicking, engaging, buying. This isn’t about social interaction, it’s about buying and selling.

Meanwhile Facebook is doing something very similar in terms of engagement. Watch out for falling wrenches!

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