Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 27 – 31

Weekly Digital News Roundup: August 27 – 31

Twitter logoTwitter To Let Advertisers Zero In On Tweeters

  • According to Reuters, Twitter will begin allowing advertisers to directly target users based on the interests they reveal in their tweets. No longer content to be a “dumb” bulletin board, with 400 million micro-messages posted daily, Twitter has moved to a strategy of actively sifting through what each user is reading and tweeting in order to discern every individual’s interests.
  • In an effort to draw advertisers, the company on Thursday also slashed the minimum price of “promoted tweets” from 50 cents each to just a penny. CEO Dick Costolo has said in recent months that his company’s value lies in its ability to mine its flow of information to build “an interest graph” showing its users’ preference profiles — which could be used by marketers to deliver targeted and relevant ads.
  • As part of its new targeting feature, Twitter will now allow advertisers to send paid ads, in the form of tweets, to users who are interested in any of the roughly 350 topics on a list curated by Twitter itself. For instance, sports apparel retailers can target soccer fanatics for promotions, or film distributors might send tweets directed at keen Bollywood fans. The new offering will allow companies to reach a “very narrow, very specific and incredibly focused audience,” Kevin Weil, a Twitter director of product management, said in an interview.

Facebook to Roll Out Email, Phone Number Ad Targeting

  • Adage reports that Facebook will roll out ad targeting that uses email addresses, phone numbers and game and app developers’ user IDs to larger advertisers, who will work directly with a Facebook sales representative. Facebook, of course, says it can achieve this without violating user privacy, or spilling personal information.
  • The company says it will protect consumer information — email addresses, user IDs and phone numbers — through a process it calls “hashing,” which allows the user data to be matched without allowing Facebook user data to be intelligible to advertisers, or advertiser data intelligible to Facebook. “Any personally identifying information will be hashed before being uploaded to Facebook,” according to a disclosure on the tool.
  • Marketers have long grumbled about the fact that they have no way of bringing their customer data inside Facebook’s walled garden, but the new ad targeting gives them the ability to market to Facebook users who have already purchased products from them. For example, a game developer like Zynga could hypothetically take its collection of user IDs and market to players of its past games when rolling out a new game. Or a retailer could take its collection of emails to target ads about an upcoming sale to Facebook users who are established customers.

Android Takes Mobile Ad Market Share From iOS

  • According to Mobile Marketer, Android gained steam as an advertising platform in July, taking share of ad impressions away from iOS for the first time this year. The info is based on data from a new report by mobile ad technology provider Velti. Velti’s July “State of Mobile Advertising” report found that Android’s share of impressions was 42 percent, up from 38 percent in June while iOS’ share decreased from 62 percent to 58 percent during the same period. Velti expects Android impressions will continue to pick up ground this year.
  • “Although Android’s four percent surge appears modest, we should bear in mind figures from IDC indicating 68 percent of smartphones shipped in 2012 have been Android models,” said Krishna Subramanian, chief marketing officer at Velti, San Francisco. “Arguably, iOS figures are likely down as consumers await the iPhone 5 launch, but still these results support the view that volume of Android impressions will continue to grow over the course of the year,” he said. “If marketers haven’t already, they should ensure their mobile strategy is cross platform.”
  • One possible effect of Android’s gain in ad impressions is that publishers could reduce the lag time between iOS and Android app releases, per Velti. The data also points to the growing importance of geo-targeting in mobile advertising, with weather – which features a high level of geo-targeted advertising – generating the highest effective cost per thousand impressions, or eCPM.
Scott Kaufmann
[email protected]

Scott is Partner at Lucid Agency and a lover of all things technology, marketing, investing and entrepreneurship. Scott volunteers on the board of the Denver-based Nonprofit Celebrate EDU and as a mentor for SeedSpot (a Phoenix-based social startup incubator).

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