Elon Musk’s reign on Twitter has just begun, and the new CEO has already announced a major shift.
This will have an impact on every aspect of the platform, including Twitter mobile ads.
According to the new boss, Twitter currently works on a “lords and peasants” system that needs to be changed.
What does this strange wording mean? Let’s dive right in!
Introducing a Twitter Subscription
In 2021, 92% of Twitter’s revenue came from advertising (Business of Apps). Out of that, 85% was brand revenue (Twitter).
In other words, brand ad spending is Twitter’s bread and butter.
Elon Musk wants to leave this in the past.
Also, Twitter historically struggles to reach consistent growth in its income, and that’s probably another thing the new CEO wants to fix.
For this reason, he announced a revamp of Twitter’s “Blue” subscription service. Right now, the subscription makes up for a small part of the platform’s revenue. Now, the plan is to add more benefits to “Blue” and make it the new golden goose.
Twitter users who purchase “Blue” will receive the following benefits:
- Account verification (blue checkmark)
- Increased visibility of their tweets and activity on the platform
- Half as many ads
- Possibility to upload longer video and audio posts (currently limited to 10 minutes)
- A paywall to access content from partner publishers
The announced subscription fee is $8 a month, but this is not set in stone. In countries with lower purchasing power, the price will be even smaller.
Previously, only verified celebrities and organizations were eligible for the blue checkmark, and it was very difficult to obtain it. Now, whoever pays the monthly fee can get it.
Or as Musk says — power to the people.
A Marketer’s Perspective
From where we stand, there are two things mobile marketers should care most about — higher organic visibility and a reduced number of ads.
Some advertisers are also quite worried about the issue of brand safety.
Paying for Higher Visibility
The concept of paying for better visibility is nothing new.
Media buyers have been doing it for ages.
However, in this case, money can buy you more than ad space and post boosts — it can also help you increase organic visibility.
All the users with a subscription will get higher visibility in posts, replies, and mentions. In this unusual scenario, the visibility of these users will be boosted across the entire site, consistently, and across all activity.
We still don’t know how big of a boost this will be.
Might be 10%, might be 100%.
On paper, this seems like good news for all companies looking to build an organic presence on Twitter. It should certainly be cheaper than constantly boosting posts. However, the competitors will be in the same position, which will probably make it incredibly difficult to stand out.
It will be a real challenge to balance this out.
“Half as Many Ads” for Paying Users
The new CEO of Twitter is not very fond of ads on the platform. He’s made this very clear in some of his previous tweets.
Since ads are extremely important for Twitter, they won’t just get rid of them. Instead, subscribers will see about 50% fewer ads than non-paying users.
The users are not thrilled about this.
The thing is, most premium subscription services offer ad-free experiences as one of their primary benefits (e.g. YouTube Music). That’s why users don’t find it okay to get ads in the premium version of Twitter.
Big Advertisers Pause Twitter Ads & Users Protest
A lot of big companies are concerned that Twitter will no longer be a safe place for brands.
For this reason, a lot of them paused ad spending on the platform until they have more clarity.
The biggest fear advertisers have is that Twitter will turn into a “free-for-all hellscape” filled with misinformation, spam, fake brand accounts, etc.
What if users start creating fake company accounts?
Twitter is already having trouble keeping up with this.
Apparently, there will be a certain verification process to stop this from happening. Also, Musk has highlighted that public figures will have a secondary checkmark that confirms account authenticity, so we can expect the same thing for brands.
While brands are worried about all this, users are — you guessed it, making fun of it.
Currently, a #RatVerified hashtag is trending on Twitter. To demonstrate how it makes no sense to pay $8 for a blue checkmark, users are putting rat emojis next to their names and calling themselves “Rat Verified”.
What Does This Mean For Twitter Mobile Ads
Did you know that mobile devices account for 80% of Twitter usage? (Google)
Mobile app and game marketers are very well aware of this. Twitter is a popular platform for promoting apps and games, and a regular guest on lists of the best mobile ad networks.
For example, in the latest AppsFlyer Performance Index, it ranked 6th in SKAN rankings, 13th in Retention, and 9th in the Remarketing chart.
Therefore, the announced changes should have a significant impact on Twitter mobile ads.
Here’s what we can expect to happen.
Right now, Twitter has the lowest CPMs (cost per mille) among the major ad platforms. According to Hootsuite, it averages at $6.46. As a result of this change, we expect CPMs to become even lower.
It’s pretty logical — if the ad exposure is limited to the most valuable users, you won’t get as many redundant views.
Increased CPIs and CPAs
According to Neil Patel, the average CPI on Twitter is $2.53. This is already higher than the average on competitor platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Apple Search Ads.
Now, it will probably grow even further.
When users start seeing fewer ads, advertisers will be more likely to reach high-quality users. Getting such users is typically more expensive, so we can expect both CPIs and CPAs to rise.
Changes & Twitter Mobile Ads: Over to You
How will all these changes affect Twitter mobile ads? How will it change what gets seen, what drives engagement, and the price of an install?
Now that we shared our predictions, we want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave us a comment and let us know!