If you asked me what my current favorite social media platform is, I’d probably have to go with Twitter. Once you find all the feeds you’re interested in, it makes finding info so incredibly easy. Plus, when it comes to breaking news, Twitter search is the best way to figure out what’s going on, in my opinion.
In fact, a cool story I heard recently about Twitter involved an awesome Father’s Day present. A friend’s dad lives in St. Louis, but is originally from the Pittsburgh area. As a present, my friend created a Twitter feed for him following all the media outlets and blogs related to Pittsburgh sports as an alternative to Google. Not going to lie, I kind of wish I had thought of that first.
One of the drawbacks to the platform, however (at least from an advertising perspective), is how it can be difficult to target an audience based on personalized data. You could target based on the accounts that those Twitter handles follow and narrow it down based on DMA info, but beyond that, the platform lacked some of the robust features available via Facebook. For that and other reasons, Twitter Ads haven’t always been seen as being as powerful as Facebook Ads.
Earlier this month, though, Twitter may have closed that advertising gap. On July 2, they introduced new audience insights for brands as well as new “personas” to target more effectively.
Twitter is able to do this by working with a pair of third-party data companies, presumably to reconcile profile info with that added information to create more precise targeting. The personas include college graduates, users with more than $100k in income and “business decision-makers” among others. Pretty cool stuff.
Of course, the flip side is, the more advertising there is on Twitter, the less of a direct “feed” users will have. By adding promoted content into the feed, the linear structure has started to change. And some users aren’t happy.
It’s a bit reminiscent of the old days of Facebook when news feed content was organized in an exclusively chronological order. With changes to Facebook’s algorithm as well as simply too much content between personal and brand accounts, the news feed changed to, in theory, highlight the most relevant content. Whether that’s truly the case or not is still up for debate.
Regardless, these new options from Twitter will definitely be a part of how the user experience for the platform will continue to evolve.
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