- According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter confirmed it is shifting its advertising strategy away from commerce products like the “buy” button and product pages by discontinuing their development. The news of Twitter's pivot away from commerce was first reported by BuzzFeed on Wednesday.
- Commerce team members have been reassigned to the customer service and dynamic product ad teams, and Recode reports Jana Messerschmidt, head of business development, and Nathan Hubbard, head of media and commerce, are both leaving the social media company.
- The moves, particularly the focus on dynamic product ads and their retargeting element, indicate internal testing by Twitter found purely shoppable ads on the platform were not performing.
An anonymous source told BuzzFeed News, “People are not buying on social media right now. They are still buying, for the most part, on mobile web. There’s still an active ‘Buy Now’ card at Twitter, but no one’s putting any work into it. There’s no new product development happening.”
What does this mean for marketers? For one, it means reexamining how any version of “buy” buttons or shoppable ads are performing on social media overall. Just because Twitter determined its product wasn’t up to snuff doesn’t mean people aren’t buying on other social media platforms, but it does warrant finding out if retargeting isn’t a better tactic on social media overall than the simpler catalog-like product ads.
For Twitter, this is one more challenge while it works out how it’s going to earn revenue in a space where competitors like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are finding success. The microblogging site is already testing a new feature that will allow marketers to reach non-Twitter users with tweet ads in third-party apps. It is also officially making changes to the basic product by altering what counts against the 140-character limit in tweets.
As Twitter looks more closely at how it builds out its ad offerings going forward, it faces restless stockholders and shares falling to post-IPO lows amid analyst reports that recommend investors sell Twitter stock.