- Twitter this week expanded its takeover ad format to include video and animations, helping to boost their visibility on mobile and desktop screens. Its Promoted Trend Spotlight ads support six-second videos, GIFs and static images, and appear atop its Explore tab that highlights what most people are tweeting about, per a blog post.
- Twitter users will see Promoted Trend Spotlight ads the first two times they tap on the Explore tab each day. After that, the ad moves to a standard Promoted Trend placement in news feeds, while organic content appears in the Spotlight placement.
- Promoted Trend Spotlight ads are available in the U.S., the U.K. and Japan, and will expand to Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain and Thailand.
Twitter's newest addition to its takeover ad format likely will help advertisers boost their visibility on the social network, whose usage grew 17% to 145 million users worldwide in Q3 from a year earlier. People spend 26% more time looking at Promoted Trend Spotlight ads than at the platform's Promoted Trend inserts, per an eye-tracking study from EyeSee, a behavioral research firm, cited by Twitter.
The longer exposure helped to boost ad recall by 113% and brand consideration by 18%, along with a 67% increase in likelihood to use a brand in the future, per Twitter. The company found in an internal study that viewers were three times as likely to click on a Spotlight than a standard Promoted Trend insert.
Video advertising is becoming more popular on mobile devices with improvements to download speeds, a trend that will continue as cellular companies upgrade their networks. Social video ads, which rely heavily on mobile viewership, grew 45% in Q3 from a year earlier to make up 42% of total social ad spending, per a study by digital ad platform Kenshoo. The number of people who watch videos on their mobile phones will increase 6% a year to 2.72 billion people worldwide by 2023 from 2.16 billion last year, researcher eMarketer estimated in September.
For Twitter, the more engaging ad format could help to boost revenue as the social media ad market expands. Twitter's revenue rose 9% to $824 million in Q3 from a year earlier, with ad growth of 8% to $702 million, per the company. Twitter is expected to report Q4 results on Feb. 6.