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Social You Should Know: Twitter and Foursquare Unveil New Ad Products

Twitter and Foursquare are further monetizing their platforms with new ad targeting abilities, and Facebook’s hunger for ad dollars may be a big problem in this week’s Social You Should Know.

Twitter Now Targeting Ads Based on Tweet Content

This week, Twitter introduced the ability for advertisers to target keywords in timelines. This new feature will allow advertisers to reach users based on keywords in their recent tweets and will unlock new audience segmentation opportunities when used in conjunction with Twitter’s existing demographic and geographic ad targeting functionality. According to Twitter’s Kevin Weil, the content of tweets hasn’t been a significant part of Twitter’s ad targeting, but with this latest update it has put content in the spotlight.

Facebook Planning Video Takeovers Despite Declining User Interest?

AdAge and Engadget are reporting that Facebook is planning 15-second autoplay video ads that will run in the space on the side of your News Feed. The charge will reportedly be $1M per day, per advertiser. From the mock-ups, it appears to be a desktop only ad unit. This invasive ad unit is allegedly being considered despite continued evidence that teens are migrating away from the platform. While marketing has helped increase fan page likes per person tenfold since 2009 (from an average of 40 to a now 70 in the US), I’m increasingly concerned about the damage advertising is doing. In fact, it’s the topic of my talk today during Social Fresh East, and it’s the subject of my new book. I don’t have a release date for the book yet, but I’m hoping the publication date will be in roughly 90 days. More to come on that.

Foursquare to Use Data to Target Ads Off Platform

Speaking of advertising, Foursquare is looking to monetize in a very different way than Facebook. Foursquare has been talking to agencies about a new ad product that would allow brands to use Foursquare data (location, check-ins) to target ads on ad exchanges and ad networks. This could be a smart move because it could drive Foursquare revenue without changing the user experience. This assumes, however, that the resulting ad retargeting doesn’t creep people out enough to make them reluctant to use the platform in the first place. That’s a real risk, given how overt and overdone a lot of ad retargeting is right now.

As we wrap up, if you haven’t seen Dove’s clever online ad using police sketches, it’s worth a look. 

Have a great week.

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