New Balance among brands trying out Twitter’s first 3D product ads

Diving brief:

  • Twitter has detailed three new ad products that aim to bring more interactivity and dynamic storytelling to the platform. in a blog post. Pilots began this week and will appear on iOS, Android, and web versions of the service.
  • One offering, Interactive Text, presents messages in a larger, bolder typeface than regular tweets and can accompany content like a video post. Up to three words can be highlighted in copy and linked to landing pages. Oreo, Bud Light and Wendy’s are experimenting with the format.
  • As mobile commerce continues to grow, the new Product Explorer feature is coming, marking the first time Twitter has allowed products to be showcased in 3D. Consumers can touch and rotate products, as well as click a “Buy Now” button to make a purchase on the brand’s website. Finally, Collection Ads displays a large hero image with up to five browsable thumbnails placed below that can lead to a landing page or website. New Balance, Lexus and Bose are among the marketers testing Product Explorer and Collection Ads.

Overview of the dive:

Twitter is adding greater variety to its ad product suite during a time when mobile campaign targeting and measurement face intense challenges. Each of the new offers is performance-centric, encouraging actions like visiting a website to make a purchase or learning more about the brand. The formats also attempt to create a visually more distinctive break from the main Twitter feed by using exaggerated text captions that can be highlighted in different colors, interactive 3D technology, or a scrolling carousel common on other social platforms.

The line’s performance builds on other bets Twitter has made to establish stronger positioning around commerce, a hot area for innovation. Twitter began testing last month a Shops button that merchants can use on their profiles to show their catalogs. Verizon, Gay Pride Apparel, and Arden Cove have tested the integration, which is in beta for iPhone users in the United States. During the holidays, Twitter also launched its first purchase. livestream with a campaign for Walmart.

Richer media formats for brands are coming as Twitter adjusts to its new leadership. Co-founder and longtime CEO Jack Dorsey resigned at the end of last year, with Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal taking over. Industry watchers saw Agrawal’s experience in product development as an opportunity for Twitter to shake up a slate of ads that some saw as outdated and lagging competitors.

Social platforms typically make substantial adjustments to account for disruptions to the broader advertising ecosystem. Apple last year made its Mobile ID for Advertisers – a key way to keep tabs on iPhone users – a default opt-in feature, which cut revenue from apps such as Facebook and Snapchat. Google announced a similar plan in February for its Android operating systemalthough it tries to provide a longer time frame to allow platforms to prepare.

Twitter in the fourth quarter missed analysts’ expectations for earnings, revenue and user growth. Ad revenue for the period, which included the key holiday season, rose 22% year-over-year to $1.41 billion. Twitter expects current quarter revenue to be between $1.17 billion and $1.27 billion.

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