Is Twitter really testing a self-serve ad platform? That is the big question that has been floating around this past week. MediaPost first reported that it was, citing David Szetela of Clix Marketing. However, shortly after the report was published, Twitter spokesperson Matt Graves spoke out and said that this was not the company’s self-serve ad offering and that it, instead, was simply part of their Promoted Tweets service.
Regardless of what the platform is or isn’t technically called, Twitter is testing something with its ad system. Szetela, who is one of the few advertisers included in its beta program, talked to WebProNews about it and said it was “a fantastic platform.”
“It has similarities to Google AdWords’ display network, it has similarities to Facebook, but with some differences,” he said.
He went on to explain that there are actually a few options within the advertising platform. First of all, there are the Promoted Tweets, which involves an advertiser tweeting a special offer or a link. The advertiser then tells Twitter that it wants the ad displayed when a user types a particular keyword into the Twitter search box. A variation of this option is the Promoted Retweet, which is when an advertiser gets an influential associate to retweet the original tweet.
Secondly, the Promoted Trends require an arrangement between the advertiser and Twitter and is geared toward big advertisers. The sponsor of this option is displayed at the top of the promoted trends on Twitter’s interface.
The third option is Promoted Accounts and is one that Szetela thinks will cause some controversy. With this option, Twitter will recommend that certain people follow the advertisers based on factors such as keywords. In other words, advertisers can essentially buy followers.
Szetela told WPN that the new platform creates 2 new metrics. One will be cost-per-engagement (CPE) and is comparable to cost-per-click (CPC). The second will be engagement rate (ER), which is similar to click-through-rate (CTR).
From what he can tell, the platform is easy-to-use and is designed for mass users. However, he added that Twitter could be working on other platforms that appeal to advertisers both at the high-end and the low-end levels.
Twitter still stands by its statement that it will be releasing a self-serve ad platform later this year and that the offering that is currently being tested isn’t it.