Business Management

Twitter: Now brought to you by more ads

The second screen phenomenon is now mainstream. Advertisers have discovered that you're using Twitter to chat about TV shows or special events, and they plan to find you.

Twitter Thursday rolled out Twitter Amplify, an official program that lets broadcast companies and their advertisers push out promoted tweets. Yes, you'll see more ads. But Twitter is betting that the content you get with those ads is worth the push.

Twitter has already dipped its toes in the water of second-screen partnerships. ESPN and Ford Fusion tweeted instant replays during college football bowl games, and the NCAA offered in-tweet highlights (presented by AT&T and Coke Zero) during March Madness.

Promoted tweets go beyond sports. BBC America and The Weather Channel were among the first to experiment with tweeting custom content.

In TWC's case, the use scenario was pushing relevant content to people tweeting about major weather events.

Now people tweeting about content from A&E, Conde Nast, Major League Baseball, Vice, or other major media companies can expect to see promoted tweets featuring more content from those brands.

Twitter said the Amplify partnerships will result in tweets that are "timely, brief, and mobile."

Promoted tweets get specific

The social network is also drilling down into details that will let its Amplify partners find TV viewers who tweeted about a particular show--and presumably saw the ad that aired during that show--and deliver a promoted tweet to that user, too. Get ready for double the amount of ads.

Twitter launched keyword ad targeting last month, so companies can look for words or phrases and have Twitter display a promoted tweet in your timeline. That keyword targeting feature is available to all companies, but broadcasters in the Amplify program can search your tweets in real time to deliver relevant content, as explained in the video below.

For example, if you tweet about the new A&E show "Bates Motel," its advertisers can target a tweet to you, maybe with an in-tweet video related to the show.

The advantages are obvious for advertisers.

Glenn Brown, Twitter's director of promoted content and sponsorships, wrote in a Thursday blog post that the social network's users will also benefit from the second-screen advertising tactics by receiving "spectacular, timely content that rounds out their TV experience or reminds them to tune in."

The entire concept is a little bit creepy and a little bit genius.


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