Many people have criticized Twitter for not being the best platform for marketers it could be. Some, like Mike Lazerow of Buddy Media, have said that what Twitter needs is branded pages.
Seems like Twitter has been listening.
Twitter has taken its promoted tweets and advertising model to a new 'branded' level that allows brands to really spread out and show off their fancy advertising media.
The Internet chatter was all aflutter on Thursday when Twitter launched what was dubbed the #newnewTwitter. Many people were downloading the mobile and iOS updated apps with new functionality, a new layout and various other tools, but the biggest change is really in how the company has embraced its advertisers by creating branded pages to change the way they present marketing campaigns.
When Twitter created the launch-centric hashtag #letsfly to help users discuss the company changes, it really seemed to be telling advertisers to spread their wings and make a nest on the popular sharing site.
Twitter has been able to attract plenty of companies that want their tweets to get 'promoted' and offered trending topics off to the highest bidders, but many companies have had to squeeze to fit their campaigns and branding information into 140 characters.
The new brand page experience is giving companies more of a landing-page feel that lets them easily display their TwidVid embeds, merchandise photos, and other promotional info on a Twitter page that more closely resembles a Google+ or Facebook page.
These brand pages are a free Twitter service that is in beta and will eventually be available to anyone interested in the marketing opportunity. Some may ask why this branding experience isn't a paid upgrade -- it could be so that the company draws in more (and a wider range) of advertisers that want to live in the Twitter ecosphere, thus increasing their future interest in other ad opportunities.
This past fall, eMarketer estimated that Twitter’s worldwide ad revenues would reach the $400-million mark by 2013 -- and that was using the ad model is had already established and wasn't considering future added models.
This substantial take-off in estimates is based on the positive returns Twitter has seen in the promoted tweets that were launched in April of 2010 and the discussion of integrating promotion tweets right into account timelines (rather than in a column to the side of the platform.)
This branded set-up differs from looking at any other Twitter profile because the managers of these pages can rearrange the order of tweet, photos, clips and other messages (rather than adhering to the automatic chronological set-up.)
Companies that want to build a buzz over a commercial or other media piece can assure that it remains at the top, most prominent placement for a set period of time.
Currently, the Disney Twitter page is promoting the Pixar film Brave and has set the trailer of the movie as the page's promoted tweet, so that anyone that clicks on the handle will be met with the video clip rather than the latest reply the company made to another Twitter user.
Twitter said that in coming months, more companies will be enrolled until it is a public feature.
As companies get the opportunity to give Twitter feedback on the system, I don't doubt that we will be introduced to new features and specially packages advertising opportunities for Twitter advertisers. All of these moves to update and increase the functionality of a company continuing to attract eyeballs and create a dependant audience of devoted followers -- and advertisers dream.