Faced with the challenge to increase its user base and revenue, Twitter has introduced several updates this month. The company reorganized its homepage to make it easier to use for logged-out users. It also launched a new promoted video ad product called “First View” to lure more advertisers. The most noteworthy change that has recently been made is the new algorithm-based timeline. Instead of tweets showing up in reverse chronological order, Twitter decided to reveal tweets at the top that the service recommends based on criteria such as account interaction, engagement and network activity. There are users who worry that Twitter may lose its identity as a platform for “real-time” communication, but advertisers are optimistic about the new algorithm for its potential to surface better content, increase engagements and provide better user experience. It will be interesting to see if the changes can attract more users and help monetize those users.
Mobile Revolution Shifts Power between Apple and Google
According to CISCO’s recent report on global mobile trends, 70% of the world population will be mobile users in 2020. With the diffusion and evolution of mobile, the focus has moved from hardware to software and services. Whereas Apple hold its position as the most valuable company in terms of market capitalization for a while, Google’s parent company Alphabet recently took over this position for the first time since 2008. While the sales of iPhones and iPads stopped increasing due to market maturity, Google started to achieve huge gains in mobile search. With digital accelerating the changes in industry at an unprecedented rate, marketers will need to constantly keep an eye on how the market flows and where the balance of power lies.
Increased attention on digital video contents led advertisers and digital platforms to explore effective ways to create and deliver video ads. Whereas most of consumers’ attentions are concentrated on the first few seconds of a video, this does not necessarily mean short form videos are always winning the audiences’ eyes. As people are getting used to consuming digital videos, they are getting better at curating their digital experiences, watching both short and long forms of videos depending on their interests. Appealing to marketers and competing for advertising dollars, media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat are offering options to place longer forms of video ads. Whereas these approaches are to absorb the shift in ad spend from TV to digital, marketers should keep in mind that the platforms are inherently social, and therefore need to create ads that are optimized for each channel.
With the proliferation of digital platforms, anyone can now serve as media, collecting marketers’ attention towards social media influencers. With increased concerns about ad blocking, brands are putting more emphasis on influencer marketing for increasing brand awareness and user engagement. Digital platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are actively supporting this marketing strategy. For instance, Instagram has recently began showing view counts on videos to convince video creators for better contents and attract more advertisers. With more established ways to measure the success of campaigns, influencer marketing will become an even more powerful strategy to lure digital consumers.
Social media is one of the places where brands can differentiate themselves effectively. From lead generation to raising brand awareness, inciting purchases and managing relationship with customers, social platforms are utilized by brands in various ways. Consumers’ purchase decisions are greatly influenced by what they see on social channels, and they actively share their experiences with brands on such platforms. As social data reveals more than just basic demographic information, marketers can understand their current and potential customers in a deeper level by tapping into social data.
The line between media and technology is blurring. As more media and entertainment content is consumed on mobile devices, the number of content providers who rely on digital platforms is increasing. While publishers and content creators can have wider reach of their contents to targeted audiences on various digital channels, platforms are provided with unique and rich contents to attract digital consumers. Digital consuming behavior is certainly affecting business models and strategies across industries.