Twitter cozies up to brands with 280-character limit, bargain subscription plan
- Twitter is offering a subscription ad service called Promote Mode that lets advertisers send up to 10 promoted tweets per day for $99 per month, as reported by Ad Age. It's geared toward small businesses and brands that want a low-cost, no-fuss way to market on the micro-blogging platform without having to manage full ad campaigns.
- One issue that marketers might not like is the service acts as an automated promotion “engine” as described by Twitter that chooses which tweets to actually promote up to 10 each day instead of allowing marketers to pick which tweets they actually want to promote. According to Twitter, the subscription is best fit for accounts with up to 2,000 followers.
- In separate Twitter news, it is rolling out the new 280-character limit for tweets to all users, an expansion from the platform’s iconic 140-character limit and an Adweek report pointed out how brands are already using the new limit. Tweets from brands like Charmin, Kit Kat and White Castle hit the max and were populated with a plethora of emojis, repeated words and in some cases just longer messaging. Some users had previously been given the expanded tweet option, and in testing only 5% of tweets in the test went over the old 140-character limit and a mere 2% had more than 190 characters.
Twitter is looking to boost its advertising revenue, which has been in decline on the platform. Twitter’s Q3 ad revenue totaled $503 million, an 8% drop year-over-year. That decline is greater than for Twitter’s Q4 2016 report released in February that recorded a 1% year-over-year drop.
Promoted Mode might bring in some smaller advertisers who otherwise wouldn’t spend on the platform, but the low-cost subscription isn’t going to be a cure for its larger issues around ad revenue. The longer character limit is already appealing big brands and is likely to continue to be so, giving them a way to communicate more information. The question is whether users, who are comfortable using Twitter for quick-hits of information about real-time happenings, will be inclined to turn their attention to brands' longer tweets.
Twitter’s Promote Mode looks like a great fit for smaller marketers in need of an easy way to use the platform for promotion, but it comes with a couple of limitations that suggest the plan's appeal will be limited to marketers who aren't very engaged on the platform. The limitations include a lack of control over what tweets actually get promoted to restricted targeting options.