Earlier this year, Twitter started rolling out its ads on third-party platforms, and now, they want to start advertising ‘Promoted tweets’ on the Twitter homepage to logged out users.
There is a growing concern about the slow growth of Twitter’s active monthly user count. As it is, the number stands at approximately 320 million active monthly users. However, the company announced last month that Twitter content reaches one billion people. That is, one billion unique people see Twitter content, on desktop and mobile, every month. The company introduced Twitter Moments to attract new users by giving them access to event-specific content. This attempt hasn’t had the desired impact so far.
The fact that Twitter reaches one billion people simply means that there is a large number of people who do not own Twitter accounts but consume its content monthly. This finding has motivated Twitter to spend the past year looking at ways to promote ads to logged-out users [and non-users] on the homepage.
This implies that whenever anyone visits Twitter.com, a user’s timeline or a topic timeline, they will see promoted tweets, whether they have a Twitter account or not. And now that tweets appear in search engine results, once you click a tweet from a search result and land on a user’s timeline, promoted tweets may be waiting to say hello to you. Of course, this is all just theory at the moment. But it will be interesting to see how Twitter will pull it off. The plan is to roll out the project slowly, throughout this quarter.
One major question this raises is how Twitter will be able to tailor the ads to the visitor’s interests, since it doesn’t know anything about them. This might result in a lower price for ad buyers. Peter Kafka of Recode writes that “It’s likely these ads are also cheaper than the ones Twitter can show its logged-in user base. It simply doesn’t know as much about non-logged-in visitors, which limits its targeting capabilities.” That is, the price of buying this type of ad will be cheaper because of the lack of targeting.