Like Google before it Twitter hopes to tap the massive base of small and medium advertisers for ad-revenue growth. According to data in the Wall Street Journal, there are currently about 100 small advertisers using Twitter’s “promoted” ad products. By contrast there are “125 big brands” using the site to market their products or services.
The anecdotal information conveyed in the Journal’s two pieces on Twitter advertising (here and here) shows somewhat mixed but a largely “promising” start for both advertisers and Twitter. The chief virtue of two of the three Twitter ad types is their comparatively low cost (and potentially better ROI) vs. Facebook or Google. Several advertisers the WSJ spoke to mention the ads’ price as a primary virtue:
While Mr. Szetela spent more money advertising the book on Google and Facebook than on Twitter over the past few weeks, he said the Twitter ads—which cost more than $4,000 in total—led to more preorders of the book. The orders were in the “high hundreds,” he said, adding that Twitter’s “ability to target so efficiently and interject advertisements into a social conversation is unique.”
Of course it’s early days and as Twitter advertising is more widely used and becomes more competitive prices will likely go up over time. The WSJ also mentions that Twitter’s self-service platform will be introduced later this year.
Another ad program involving national deals promotion called “early bird” was discontinued (probably temporarily) earlier this year. Here are some of the additional facts and data presented in the WSJ articles:
- Registered users globally: 200 million
- Ad revenue estimate: $150 million in 2011 vs. $45 million in 2010
- Employees: approximately 350
- Direct sales staff: 35 people
A separate article from Bloomberg discusses how Twitter and several other companies (e.g., Salesforce.com) have helped turn around San Francisco’s commercial real estate market and enabling it bounce back from the high vacancy levels of the recession.