In its effort to prove that it’s not dying, Twitter is casting a wide net. For example, it’s investing heavily in live sports streaming. But while some of Twitter’s efforts appear to hedge against irrelevance as a core social platform, Twitter isn’t giving up on core social yet either.
For example, Twitter recently unveiled Stickers, a feature resembling Snapchat filters that allows users to add graphics, such as emojis, to photos they share on the service. Stickers, which help Twitter turn photos posted by users into searchable content, were dubbed a “visual spin on the hashtag.” Twitter says millions of photos have been shared on its service with Stickers.
Now, Twitter appears to be channeling Snapchat again by launching Promoted Stickers, which are similar to Snapchat’s Sponsored Filters. As the name suggests, these are branded Stickers that Twitter users can add to their photos.
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) August 15, 2016
According to Twitter’s Head of Product, Brand & Video Ads, Ilya Brown, “Promoted Stickers represents a huge opportunity for brands to drive brand affinity and raise awareness of their message at scale.”
The first brand putting that claim to the test is Pepsi, which has created 50 Promoted Stickers for its PepsiMoji campaign that will be available to Twitter users in 10 marketers, including the US. Brown says “this campaign marks the largest partnership between Twitter and Pepsi to date.”
What is Twitter?
While Twitter lured Pepsi to be the exclusive launch partner for Promoted Stickers, the social media company, which has been struggling with stagnant user growth, is facing increased competition for ad dollars.
Much of the competition is thought to come from younger players like Snapchat, which is aggressively pursuing monetization opportunities with the goal of building a billion dollar ad business. Offerings that are similar to ad formats from Snapchat and other upstarts could help Twitter stay relevant with brand marketers to some extent. After all, if Twitter’s offerings are familiar because they’re similar, it might find it easier to convince marketers to give them a try.
But Promoted Stickers and offerings inspired by competitors probably won’t help Twitter solve its ongoing identity crisis.
Until it does, marketers experimenting with new Twitter ad offerings will want to keep a close eye on engagement and ROI. Ultimately, results, and not formats, are all that matter.