Twitter's latest tool for advertisers plays to one of its biggest strengths


iPhone at Concert

Dan Harr/AP

Twitter is making it easier for advertisers to reach its users during basketball games, political debates and other live events.

The social networking company is rolling out new tools on Thursday that will capitalize on the frenzy of chatter on its service that often accompanies real-world events.

Live events are considered one of the brights spots at Twitter as the company looks for ways to revitalize flagging user growth and to win back favor among skeptical investors.


The company is reportedly in the process of preparing new product features, dubbed Project Lightning, which will make it easier for users to instantly tune into discussions and watch videos about whatever events are underway at the moment.

The new advertising features are separate from Project Lightning, Twitter Senior Director of Revenue Products Ameet Ranadive told Business Insider in an interview. Though he noted that there could be potential "synergies" between the two over time.

The new advertising tool basically allows marketers to choose any day on the calendar and see the various events that will occur, whether it be the MTV Video Music Awards or the World Series. Marketers can drill down into each event to learn the size and demographics of the Twitter group that chatted about that event in the past. And they can easily launch ad campaigns that will reach all the people discussing the particular event.


Until now, marketers who wanted to advertise around a live event had to manually create ads based around certain hashtags. The new tool makes it faster and more efficient. If an advertiser wants to promote a video to people attending the Coachella music festival for example, the new tool will not only take into account all the hashtags for Coachella, but also the hashtags for the musicians performing at the festival, explained Ranadive.

Ranadive said that Twitter was starting with "hundreds" of events on the calendar for marketers to choose from, but that the plan was to grow the number in the coming months to include "small scale" events. The tool will initially be available to advertisers in the US, UK, France, Brazil and Japan.

The new advertising service marks the latest update that Twitter is deploying to its money-making business, even as the company hunts for a new permanent CEO and moves forward with co-founder Jack Dorsey in the interim CEO role.


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