With Facebook’s phenomenal growth, primarily driven by its mobile ad offering, others have looked to carefully monetise their products. Flipboard has allowed brands to sponsor individual sections of its magazine while YouTube has redeveloped its app to better run ads before displaying content.
Twitter too has long sought to cautiously cash in through advertising. The microblogging social network, which officially floated on the stock market last week, has this month launched a new look for photos and videos on the site. Such images now play a greater part in the user experience, with consumers no longer having to click on a Tweet to view an image.
The decision to better integrate photos into the Twitter experience can be construed as a move to help brands improve reach and get consumers to view marketing material. Indeed, Forrester data suggests Twitter needed to better integrate advertising into its platform, with just 55% of marketers stating they are satisfied with the value they get from Twitter ads. This puts the social network behind its peers such as LinkedIn, YouTube and Google, although still ahead of Facebook.
Twitter has been careful to balance advertising on the site without affecting the day-to-day user experience. It seems the new layout has worked too, with share prices increasing significantly upon release. Whether the new update will better satisfy marketers though remains to be seen.