Twitter’s Now Testing a Different Type of Carousel Ad Format
It’s been over a year since Twitter started testing carousel ads to support multiple app install ads on the platform. But now it seems like the company’s experimenting with a carousels ads format that incorporates normal tweets from users.
Unlike Google’s, Facebook’s and Instagram’s carousel ad format, Twitter’s new carousel ad format comprises of an array of tweets that include text, images or videos in the form of a horizontal slide show. The new ad format allows brands to include up to 20 tweets in a carousel, but Twitter suggests that brands limit the number of tweets to around 5 or 7.
The new ad format enables advertising brands to select one of their own tweets or any random content from the platform to be displayed in the carousel along with their ads. This means that brands can make use of tweets by users who happen to be a part of Twitter’s influencer program. They can even incorporate regular users’ tweets in their carousel ads, provided they have their permission to do so.
The advertising brand has to figure out a way to secure permission from regular Twitter users. One of the ways to do it is via direct messaging on the platform. It may be hard for Twitter to figure out whether a brand has secured users’ permissions before the ads goes live on the platform, but it always reserves the right to take down an ad if a brand is found to be violating the norms.
There are two apparent reasons why the carousel ad format has become an instant hit among digital ad sellers such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. The first reason is that sponsored slide shows allow brands to promote their offerings through a story telling ad format. For instance, a movie brand could opt to show audience ratings instead of repeatedly running over a movie trailer to get users to go to the movie theaters. The second reason is that it requires a brand to use multiple ad formats to stuff more ads into users’ Twitter feed section.
Twitter initially charges the brands only when someone engages with an individual tweet in the ad carousel. It doesn’t add up to Twitter’s revenue stream, if someone retweets the advertised content or favorites an audience review. This way, advertisers end up paying only half of the advertising cost as compared to a single tweet campaign; and it seems to be attracting twice the amount of audience attention on the platform.
But at the moment only a selected few international brands, who have previously been in touch with Twitter’s sales reps, have been provided with access to the new carousel ads format.