Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter who last year pushed to offer more video of live events like football games, appeared to downplay the importance of live-streamed events while speaking at Dmexco, the two-day digital marketing conference in Germany, Adweek reported. In a half-hour talk with WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, Dorsey said Twitter is a platform where all kinds of content such as text, photos and video can reach target audiences.
Sorrell asked Dorsey in a keynote presentation why Twitter doesn’t have the same kind of momentum and advertiser interest as other tech companies such as Google and Facebook, which dominate digital advertising. WPP spent $300 million on Twitter advertising last year and will spend the same amount this year, Sorrell said.
Dorsey said Twitter is addressing advertiser concerns by emphasizing its daily user activity, open platform for content and influential users, such as political leaders, journalists and celebrities. “[What] a lot of people underestimate about us is the power of conversation, the power of the zeitgeist that we have on top of how people think and feel,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey — who was very publicly fired in 2008 from the company he founded two years before, and then was re-hired in 2015 — appears to have backed off from last year’s efforts to drive greater viewership with live streamed events. While Amazon this year outbid Twitter for streaming rights to NFL games, Dorsey said his company is still the place where people converse over live events and breaking news. ““Even if the NFL for instance were to be broadcast somewhere else, like an Amazon, the conversation still happens on Twitter,” Adweek reported Dorsey as saying.
Following the election of President Donald Trump, an avid Twitter user who makes news nearly every time he uses the platform to promote his Make America Great Again agenda, attack the media or lash out at political opponents, the microblogging service has permeated public discourse. While that kind of publicity hasn’t helped Twitter to grow its audience in the same way that Facebook and Instagram have done, Dorsey said his company is focusing on making the platform more friendly for advertisers in other ways. Twitter is more focused on ROI and other metrics to demonstrate its effectiveness as a marketing platform, Dorsey said.
Twitter has been through a tumultuous lifecycle since its founding as a microblogging service that grew rapidly, expanded into other services, had a high-profile IPO and underwent several management changes. But its growth stalled out, studies said many Twitter accounts were fake and advertisers fretted about objectionable content on the platform, which was a free-for-all of internet trolls, pornography publishers and propaganda from extremist groups including alleged terrorists.