Twitter introduces new advertising functions and a revised algorithm before the e-commerce push

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Twitter on Tuesday rolled out new advertising features and revamped the algorithm that decides which ads users see as part of an effort to lay the groundwork for rollout of future e-commerce features, the social networking company told Reuters.

The new features come as Twitter looks to grow its performance advertising business, a strategy aimed at generating quick sales that made up only 15 percent of Twitter’s business last year. The effort could help Twitter meet its goal of doubling its annual revenue by 2023.

The San Francisco-based company is positioning itself to eventually enable brands to sell products through the service by first improving its ability to display relevant advertisements to users and increasing the likelihood that they will click on the advertisement.

“Performance advertising is a very big opportunity … that is relatively untapped for us,” said Kamara Benjamin, Group Product Manager at Twitter, in an interview. “Ultimately, this will lead people to install apps, visit websites, and find products that suit their needs.”

Advertisements promoting downloads for mobile games and other apps, which are a major type of advertisement on social media sites, now allow users to start the download without leaving the Twitter app, the company said Tuesday in a blog post. Previously, users had to leave Twitter to download other apps.

Twitter added it was working on new tools that companies could use to advertise to find customers who are more likely to make in-app purchases.

Multi-product slideshow ads can now direct users to different websites when they click the ad, while brands previously could only select one target. This increased the number of clicks on advertising campaigns that were aimed at increasing website visits by 25 percent, the company said.

Twitter also improved the advertising algorithm, showing the advertising to a wider audience at the beginning of the campaign so that it could better measure user interest, Benjamin said.

These algorithm improvements resulted in a 36 percent increase in ad campaigns that received at least five downloads during the period the ad ran on Twitter, the company said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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