Now that Jack Dorsey is back at Twitter permanently, the ad world expects the company to return to the upper echelon of social media players, a position that it ceded slightly to platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
Yesterday, Dorsey was named full-time CEO after serving as the interim chief all summer. Ad industry insiders, told Digiday they believed Twitter was poised to shake the negative attention that forced ex-CEO Dick Costolo to leave the company. Already Dorsey has been widely credited with sparking faster product upgrades.
“You already see the effect he’s having by bringing focus to what Twitter wants to be and where they’re already excelling, which is real time,” said Chris Tuff, evp and director of business development and partnerships at 22squared. “Twitter and Dorsey will prove Wall Street wrong.”
Twitter has struggled because it has a unique language all its own, one that’s hard to grasp for outsiders. At the same time, it commands mass attention every day of people looking to discover what’s going on online and in the world.
The platform is vibrant with discussion during major cultural moments like the Super Bowl, and counts celebrities, politicians and major brands among its users.
Still, the company had taken a hit, especially from investors, for its slow user growth leading to concerns that it’s just not a mainstream product. On the other hand, Twitter has become the go-to platform for daily news, politics, sports and entertainment.
Twitter has about 330 million monthly users compared to Facebook’s 1.5 billion and Instagram’s more than 400 million.
Kyle Bunch, managing director of RG/A’s social practice, said that Dorsey could help return that sense of innovation to Twitter.
“Any time you’ve got someone who is a founder, basically the guy who invented the platform, you get back to a place where there’s a lot of vision,” Bunch said. “I wouldn’t say there was none of that before, but the ambition was lacking. Twitter has the potential to be something as vitally important to the world as Google and Facebook.”
Matthew Wurst, vp of social media at 360i, said he thinks Twitter will make changes to help advertisers take better advantage of all that live conversation taking place across the service.
“The next step for them is to roll out more features and functionality that make Twitter a viable platform for marketers,” Wurst said.
One major area is in video. Twitter has a lot of assets like native video, Vine, Periscope and partnerships with media companies to post clips. But the advertising potential is still limited, Wurst said.
This week, in fact, Twitter and Dorsey are hosting an event called VideoNow, where they are set to show marketers the newest video products.
Agency sources said they also expect to get a glimpse of Project Lightning, a highly anticipated new product.
Sources said Lightning will provide a better experience to users who want to participate in the Twitter conversation but don’t have accounts. A lot of people, and that includes marketers, are overwhelmed by Twitter and can’t make sense of the chatter; Lightning is expected to help with that.
“Our clients, like many users, say it can be hard, that there’s always something interesting on Twitter, but they can’t find it,” RG/A’s Bunch said. “The goal is to help surface all that.”
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