- Twitter unveiled a video ad-bidding option that could bolster the use of short-form video on the platform, according to a company blog post. The new ad-bidding unit lets advertisers run video ads of 16 second or less, and only charges them after the video is watched for six seconds with 50% of pixels in view.
- The bid type aims to urge advertisers to create short-form video ads while offering the ability to transact on a cost-per-completed-view basis, Dan Kang, the group product manager in charge of Twitter's mobile performance, programmatic and video products, said in the announcement.
- Dell boosted its view rate by more than 22% in Brazil with the six-second ad format, per the post. The tech company worked with Twitter and ad agency VMLY&R Miami on the six-second video campaign.
Twitter has prioritized video advertising as a key source of revenue growth as it seeks to engage its audience with broader content offerings than bursts of text limited to 280 characters. Extra-short videos of six seconds or less have sparked discussion between marketers and agencies around ad effectiveness, but it's clearly a format where Twitter sees an opportunity to score more brand dollars.
Creative executives have fretted that the short ads make it harder to forge an emotional connection with viewers. Other studies indicate viewers can mentally process an ad quickly enough. Mobile ads trigger an emotional response in less than half a second, according to a study by brain researcher Neurons for the Mobile Marketing Association.
Twitter is among many digital platforms pushing harder for shorter ads, which were popularized thanks to mobile-first apps like Snapchat. YouTube in May rolled out a software to help advertisers automatically shorten their ads into six-second ads, which it calls "bumpers." Snapchat in April announced plans to introduce a service that lets brands reserve and buy non-skip, six-second commercials during premium shows in its Discover section.
Twitter's ad revenue grew 21% to $727 million in Q2, with total ad engagements jumping 20%. CFO Ned Segal in March said video spots made up more than half of Twitter's total ads in the past year, pointing to why the platform is expanding its offering to appeal to marketers doubling down on short-form social video ads. To help brands with video production, the company last month also created an in-house group called "Art House," whose services include digital strategy, livestreaming and influencer management.
Twitter's new ad-bidding service comes as research indicates mobile video ads are driving growth in digital media spending. U.S. mobile ad spending surged 40% to $69.9 billion last year, making up 65% of total digital ad revenue, per an annual report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
Digital video ads on mobile devices expanded even faster, jumping 65% to $10.2 billion. As high-speed 5G mobile networks roll out nationwide over the next few years, video delivery is expected to become much less cumbersome for mobile users and advertisers alike.