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SnappyTV Acquisition and GIF Support Mean New Ad Opportunities on Twitter

  |  June 20, 2014   |  Comments

The SnappyTV deal also means brands will have new ways to target and interact with consumers on Twitter during live events.

Twitter's acquisition of live video platform SnappyTV and its recent announcement enabling GIFs mean brands have a number of new advertising options on the platform.

Indeed, many brands were inspired to try out the latter feature on their timelines shortly after the announcement, including Wendy's, Mountain Dew, Arby's, Denny's, and Netflix.

SnappyTV was already used by brands and Twitter media partners to share video clips organically and through Twitter Amplify prior to the June 19 acquisition news. A Twitter rep says the platform is not providing any other comments beyond the blog post announcing the deal.

In the post, however, Twitter says it will continue to invest in SnappyTV's product and will work toward integrating it more tightly. Twitter also says it plans to maintain its partners' ability to post videos to other platforms.

At the end of the day, the announcements mean brands can use GIFs and live video clips on Twitter to interact with customers and prospects in new ways. That includes branded short-form videos, as well as a richer inventory of short-form video to run ads against, notes Kristin Kovner, president of marketing strategy consultancy K-Squared Strategies.

"This [SnappyTV] acquisition is the latest in a series of investments Twitter has made to strengthen the connection between broadcast moments and social conversations," Kovner says. "From Bluefin to SnappyTV, Twitter is investing in real-time engagement - making it easier for brands and publishers to connect directly with audiences, through text, image, and increasingly with video."

The SnappyTV deal in particular should make it easier for brands to target consumers during live events and to analyze results afterward, says Caleb Hanson, vice president of product at interactive video firm Rapt Media.

That's because SnappyTV enables brands to create clips and animated GIFs from live TV that play back inline on Twitter, wrap them in related ads, and tweet them out, he adds.

"With this, anyone who wants to tweet about the winning goal in the World Cup game can retweet a video clip, which is more engaging, and in doing so, they're unintentionally helping to distribute your ad," Hanson says.

In addition, Twitter's recent acquisition of social data provider Gnip helps it put together a "very robust package for social-savvy media companies" in which said companies can "create a clip from a live TV event, monetize it by putting a sponsor ad around it, distribute it through Twitter, and by watching the data in real-time, identify the social influencers who are driving conversions on the sponsor site," Hanson says.

By tracking the success of certain types of tweets, or tweets targeted at specific users, media companies could theoretically iterate and refine them during the event to play to the crowd.

"Then, after the event, you can get really robust reporting on the success of the campaign, filtered by geographic boundaries, language, or a number of other factors," Hanson adds.

What's more, Hanson notes media companies will have a new and more measurable way to sell advertising around live TV by selling advertising in the tweets they create. And, unlike broadcast TV advertising, they'll be able to directly track conversion rates and return on investment (ROI) on those ads, he says.

"Combined with Twitter Amplify, this acquisition should make it easier for brands to engage in the real-time conversation surrounding broadcast TV and important tentpole events," Kovner adds.

For his part, Mike Proulx, executive vice president and director of social media at marketing and communications agency Hill Holliday, notes, "The real thing that this acquisition does is blunt against Facebook from snapping up SnappyTV for themselves as they aggressively go after Twitter's once dominant foothold on live social TV experiences."

However, Proulx notes, Twitter will have to continue "growing, integrating, and innovating to stay relevant and differentiated within the mass TV market. A strong partner strategy that leads to the acquisition of new capabilities quickly is an important part of what Twitter must continue to do."

SnappyTV customers include the U.S. Open, Fox, ABC News, Oracle, and SAP.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Lacy

Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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