- Twitter’s First View ad unit gives marketers a 24-hour promoted video at the top of the targeted audiences’ timeline.
- The new format is being gradually introduced to what Twitter described as "managed clients" in the U.S. and will roll out globally in coming months.
- The micro-blogging site on Wednesday also announced algorithm changes to its timeline that would make it an option for users to view tweets out of order so as to, as Twitter puts it, "never miss important tweets from people you follow."
Investors have been pushing the tech company to find ways to attract new users, which have hovered around 320 million. While, the First View video ad introduction is a welcome addition for marketers, the algorithm change, though purely optional, is sure to ruffle core users' feathers.
In a blog post about First View, Twitter Revenue Product Manager Deepak Rao wrote, “First View helps marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period. When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to twitter.com, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a Promoted Video from that brand. Now, marketers can tell a powerful visual story across the Twitter audience.”
In the same post, Marc Weinstock, president of domestic theatrical marketing, 20th Century Fox, said about the new ad unit that in movie marketing, word of mouth is invaluable and they see First View as "a great opportunity to widely distribute our trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates while generating buzz and social conversation. We are able to hit a broad movie-going audience with great video in a way that not just garners views, but actually creates social momentum."
Senior Engineering Manager Mike Jahr explained in a blog post the way the new timeline feature will work. After a user turns on the feature in their settings, the next time they go to Twitter after being away for a while, they'll see tweets the algorithm thinks they're most likely to care about -- not the newest, which was the case in the past. Beneath that section will appear the usual reverse chronological timeline they're used to seeing.
"We've already seen that people who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone," Jahr said.
Twitter is facing a branding issue as well as internal turmoil and though Wall Street saw the timeline change as a step in the right direction -- shares got a slight bump in early morning trade -- whether it will attract new users is yet to be seen. Twitter is expected to report quarterly earnings Wednesday after the end of trade and both avid users and investors will be closely monitoring for any other moves.