Twitter To Launch New Conversational Ads

As part of its New Year’s resolution to finally impress investors, Twitter is expected to debut a new “conversational” ad format, on Tuesday.

Expanding on Twitter’s Promoted Tweets program, conversational ads include call- to-action buttons with customizable hashtags that encourage consumer engagement.

When users tap a call-to-action button, the Tweet composer opens with a pre-populated brand message accompanied by creative and hashtag buttons. The consumer can then personalize the Tweet and share it with his or her followers.

“At a high level [the new ads] help advertisers generate brand influence by prompting users to Tweet,” a company rep said on Monday.

Twitter says the shared tweets are valuable because they drive earned media at no extra cost to brands, while research has shown that organic conversations about brands delivers additional value for advertisers.

Over the past few months, the social giant has been testing the new format with several ad partners, including Samsung Electronics Canada and A+E Networks’ Lifetime channel. 

Along with user engagement, generating more ad revenue is becoming an increasingly critical issue for Twitter.

Late last year, the company said it expected fourth-quarter revenue to reach between $695 million and $710 million -- considerably lower than analysts’ estimates of nearly $740 million. 

Anthony Noto, Twitter’s CFO, blamed the forecast on decreasing demand among advertisers. We are “seeing less growth in advertisers than we have in the past,” Noto told analysts on a third-quarter earnings call. 

While demand is declining, Twitter is betting that it can attract bigger ad budgets with what it believes are superior ad products, Adam Bain, Twitter’s recently promoted COO, said in late October.

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