Twitter Moments fails to gain traction with advertisers

Twitter’s Moments moment seems to have passed, as advertisers have lost whatever enthusiasm they once had for the feature. Advertisers say that Twitter has asked too much money for ads in the curated section of the site dedicated to trending tweets.

Moments launched a little more than six months ago as a hub for Twitter content. The idea was to make Twitter more accessible to average users who want popular tweets served to them instead of having to wade through all the clutter to find gems themselves.

“A lot of the media spend Twitter used to be getting is going to Snapchat,” said one digital ad executive.

Twitter did find some advertisers — like movie studios and retailers — to experiment with promoted topics inside Moments, showing off tweets, photos, videos and GIFs related to the brands. Twitter was asking for $1 million to buy into Moments.

But advertisers are uncomfortable paying that much when the return is questionable, they said. “There’s no reporting on Moments. Twitter doesn’t give any information on the number of impressions or engagement,” said one ad agency exec. “I don’t know any brands buying it.”

Moments was one of the last major features launched under ex-CEO Dick Costolo, who resigned last year, opening the way for the return of co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Twitter has been trying to re-energize its user base, which stands at more than 300 million people. And although its advertising potential remains unrealized, Moments holds out some promise that it’s useful for attracting and retaining users.

“Separate from the paid advertising considerations, we think Moments are an important step in making Twitter a more immersive, visual platform that users enjoy spending time on,” said Orli LeWinter, svp of social strategy at 360i. “The curated and visual nature of the content makes Twitter more accessible to non-power users and this is a good thing for a platform that’s trying to grow in raw user numbers as well as time spent.”

Twitter declined to comment for this story. It’s unclear how often Twitter has sold a promoted Moment, and whether any campaigns are in the works, although the Olympics are on the way, which would be prime time for such an ad buy on the platform.

Moments is similar to Snapchat’s Live Stories, which features user-generated content around special topics and events. Snapchat has made a strong case that it can play in this live space.

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