Twitter, now 7 years-old, is gearing up to iterate the twitterverse of 400 million monthly visitors, 200 million monthly active users and one billion tweets every two and a half days into serious business.
Twitter is projected to earn over $582 million in global ad revenue this year, $950 million next year and $1.33 billion in 2015, according to eMarketer. "The upward revision comes as advertisers have shown more interest in spending money on mobile advertisements on Twitter, and as recent audience figures from multiple research sources analysed by eMarketer have suggested Twitter's reach is improving," said eMarketer.
"Twitter will earn $308.9 million in mobile ad revenue in 2013—which is more than the company earned in total, from any ad type, in 2012, when it made $138.4 million from mobile ads," they added.
As consumers increasingly take to smartphones, mobile ads have become the crown jewel in the digital ad landscape for major players including Facebook and Google.
"Twitter has ultimately benefited from the increased focus on mobile by competitors like Google and Facebook, which have both expanded their own mobile ad offerings and worked to convince advertisers to shift dollars to mobile devices," eMarketer reported. Signposts began appearing in February when Twitter upgraded its advertising API followed by a dashboard revamp in March.
“In effect, this is Twitter advertising’s equivalent of adding in more comfortable furniture and some iced drinks to get brands and other businesses to hang out a bit longer. In the digital ad world, it’s about providing significantly more data in order to be able to measure and parse how ads perform, to justify how and where you will spend subsequent marketing budget," commented TechCrunch.
Paving the way for the ad-land-grab, Twitter just refurbished its business 101 section, including video tutuorials to make businesses better understand how they can use Twitter. The site offers three drill-downs: The Art of the Tweet, Terrific Examples and Tools You Need, the latter explaining the ins-and-outs of their "native" ad products—Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets and Analytics, as well as a slew of success stories from Porsche, Zappos, MTV and Cadbury Wispa.
As ads continue to infiltrate newsfeeds and streams on sites like Twitter and Facebook, the FTC has increased scrutiny on both operations, emphasizing the importance of disclosures so the "significant minority of reasonable consumers" are not misled. While the FTC pushes for more ad disclosure, it has warned U.S. CEOs that being upfront with fans on social media doesn't meet all of the disclosure requirement for stockholders.
Last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posted on Facebook “previously undisclosed data about the company (its hours viewed per month).” Quartz points out, “The question was whether Netflix should have filed that information with the SEC at the same time or whether a Facebook post by Hastings, who now has more than 262,000 followers on Facebook, is sufficiently public disclosure.” Netflix escaped SEC sanction, but the incident is a benchmark for CEOs who frequently tweet company business such as Rupert Murdoch or Elon Musk, arguably pushing the needle on stock prices.
In its new guidance, the SEC says U.S.-listed companies can use social media to disclose information but need to tell investors where to look ahead of time.
“Twitter is becoming significantly more sophisticated about what data it presents to its customers—advertisers,” notes TechCrunch. “For consumer users, it’s a signal that we should expect significantly more ad units and ad tech to be entering our Twitterverses in the months to come.”