Twitter Gets Video Ad Network

Posted on July 13, 2010

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Is the Twitter ecosystem robust enough to support its own video ad network? Betting on it, Twitter video hosting service TwitVid on Monday debuted a stand-alone network dubbed SocialAds. SocialAds is being positioned as a way to help advertisers increase their social media presence, as well as an alternative to pre-roll video ads.

“Traditional means of monetizing video has heavily relied on pre-roll ads, which work great for premium content but can be quite suffocating for an end-user who may only be trying to watch a short video,” said Mo Al Adham, co-founder of TwitVid. “SocialAds offers an alternative.”

Among other selling points, the video ad network differentiates itself by providing quantifiable social media results, including Twitter followers and retweets.

SocialAds’ prices are based on a price-per-action model. Advertisers pay a set, agreed upon amount per follow or retweet, and are not charged for impressions that do not result in actions. Bidding begins at one dollar per follower and seventy-five cents per retweet, with higher bids receiving better placement on ad units. For example, advertisers can place bids on popular content producers and videos from celebrities, musical artists, and pro athletes who have chosen TwitVid as their preferred video tweeting service.

TwitVid was founded in 2008, and has so far received an undisclosed investment from Amidzad Partners. Its main competitor, Vidly — formerly known as Twitvid.io — has received $500,000 in angel funding. Other services helping users share videos via Twitter include 12seconds, Twiddeo, yfrog, Bubbletweet.

Through SocialAds’ self-service advertising network, advertisers create customized campaigns, with specific audience targeting, to promote their desired social media channels. Depending on the specific objective of a campaign, advertisers are prompted to select their desired combination of SocialAds’ retweet-to-watch or follow-to-watch functionalities. Allowing users to opt out, SocialAds doesn’t require viewers to retweet or follow brands.

During a private alpha test of SocialAds, unnamed brand participants received more than 400 new followers in less than an hour, while 2% of viewers who were shown an ad followed a brand.

Going forward, TwitVid plans to add proprietary relevance technology to SocialAds, which will allow advertisers to better match their advertisements with highly relevant video content, as well as target geographic locations and specific languages.

Twitter now has 190 million users producing 65 million tweets per day, the company’s COO Dick Costolo said last month.

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