We’re more than a social network – Twitter

Twitter has announced the launch of a new marketing campaign which will aim to re-educate users on why the platform is more than a social network or an online soapbox.

The campaign follows a number of acquisitions and new feature releases which aims to move the platform away from the perception it is solely a social network. It would appear the Twitter team is not satisfied being ring-fenced into the role of social network, as it aims to expand its remit to include more advertising solutions, live broadcasting of events and a source of news, opening up new potential revenue streams.

Over the last few months, the team has been conducting research to understand what the perception of the brand actually is. The research uncovered brand recognition is high, 90% of those who responded to the survey recognized the brand, though the majority thought of Twitter primarily as a social network. While this is not necessarily a bad thing for the business, it does limit the financial potential for a platform which has big ambitions.

“We asked lots of questions and two key themes emerged,” the company said on its blog. “First, most didn’t know or simply misunderstood what Twitter was for – many thought of Twitter primarily as a social network, a place to find and connect with friends and family members. Second, they thought if they wanted to use Twitter, they were “supposed to Tweet every day” and didn’t think they would have that much to say. We realized we had some explaining and clarifying to do!”

Could Twitter provide an alternative to traditional broadcasting platforms?

  • Great idea - will provide good value for consumers (55%, 11 Votes)
  • Not convinced (25%, 5 Votes)
  • Twitter will always be seen as a conversation platform (20%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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The campaign itself focuses on the wider reach of Twitter, leaning on the idea the platform can be used to engage people, understand themes and witness events, which may be outside of a consumer’s immediate circle. Using examples such as the upcoming US presidential election, the Pokémon Go global phenomena and civil unrest, the campaign shows how wide and varied organizations can be engaged through to the effective use of hashtags, emojis, trending themes and popular consent. Should the campaign be effectively executed it has the potential to open Twitter up to a wider audience base, which will be much needed if the company is to increase its advertising revenues.

Aside from the potential to broadcast live events across the platform, the Twitter team has added a number of new capabilities to its armoury as it would appear to be striving towards the world of artificial intelligence. Such capabilities will offer advertisers a much more concise means to engage consumers, taking a much more structured style, as opposed to the blanket shotgun approach which can be associated with advertising on the platform currently.

Last month, Twitter stepped up its efforts in the machine learning arena, announcing the acquisition of visual processing technology company Magic Pony. Incorporating these capabilities into the Twitter advertising offering will enable advertisers to more accurately target consumers, and more effectively communicate a relevant brand message.

While Twitter is one of the larger social networks, its role in the artificial intelligence market segment has been limited to date, which could be seen as unusual. Twitter could be recognized as the ‘conversation’ platform in the world of social media, and would seemingly be a logical arena for artificial intelligence to find a use case in the form of digital engagement and advertising. We asked readers whether they perceived Twitter as an artificial intelligence company, with only 26% saying yes.

This is not an encouraging statistic for the company, though it is making attempts to become more engaged in the artificial intelligence segment.

“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO. “Magic Pony’s machine learning technology will help us build strength into our deep learning teams with world-class talent, so Twitter can continue to be the best place to see what’s happening and why it matters, first. We value deep learning research to help make our world better, and we will keep doing our part to share our work and learnings with the community.”

Twitter has been one of the more prominent platforms to engage audiences, though little would have appeared to have changed in recent years. Although the idea of ‘don’t fix what isn’t broken’ could apply here, there is a risk of the platform becoming tired and turgid, as others continue to innovate. Moving into the arena of live broadcasting is a logical step should the company be chasing additional advertising revenues, though Facebook has beaten them to the punch.

The company does have a loyal following, and a high level of brand recognition, giving it a solid platform to launch any new features for its users. That said Twitter has fallen behind in the artificial intelligence game, which could prove to be the next battle ground for online advertising and digital engagement.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Twitter Guy 31/07/2016 @ 9:09 am

    Twitter definitely has to improve on its live broadcasting after the epic Wimbledon fail this year. There are better websites out there for live broadcasting of events anyway.

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