In a surprising reimagining of Twitter, Elon Musk's "X" emerges as the next frontier in social media platforms. Gone is the iconic blue bird, and in its place, X promises boundless interactivity, centered on audio, video, messaging, payments/banking, and more. This reimagining goes beyond mere rebranding; it presents exciting opportunities and challenges for paid media marketers. Let's embark on a hypothetical journey, drawing comparisons to other platforms and exploring potential technical advancements for paid media experts.
The Advent of "Everything Apps": Before delving into the implications of X for paid media marketers, it's crucial to understand the concept of "everything apps." These virtual Swiss army knives, exemplified by China's WeChat, integrate multiple functionalities like ride-hailing, food delivery, payments, and messaging within a single platform. The allure of such apps lies in the seamless user experience and the ability to perform diverse tasks without switching between different applications. Elon Musk's vision for X is to create a unified platform that offers an all-encompassing digital experience.
1. Interactive and Immersive Ad Formats: Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable trend towards longer-form video and audio content on social media platforms. Snapchat introduced in-app docuseries, TikTok expanded video lengths to up to 10 minutes, and Meta followed suit. It's no surprise that Elon’s embracing this trend by allowing content of several hours in length on his updated platform. By emphasising audio and video, it seems X aims to increase engagement within the platform and cater to younger audiences who are shifting away from traditional TV for their media and content needs. As a result, we may anticipate the introduction of interactive video ads on X to take advantage of users' longer engagement periods. These ads could draw inspiration from SVOD platforms, incorporate elements like Snapchat's AR ads, and utilise social media polls, challenges, and trend engagements to create immersive ad experiences.
2. Sharing Advertising Revenue with Creators: X's potential move to share ad revenue with content creators, akin to platforms like YouTube, could serve as a powerful incentive for influencers and content creators to invest their creativity on the platform. This collaborative approach may lead to a surge of engaging and high-quality content that marketers can leverage in their campaigns. Brands may explore strategic partnerships with influential creators, co-creating content that resonates with X's enthusiastic audience, ultimately enhancing the effectiveness of paid media ads on the platform. For paid media managers, this may also mean programmatic ad opportunities pre and mid audio/video, as we’ve seen with similar modelled platforms such as YouTube and Acast.
3. The Power of Verified User Data: X's unwavering commitment to verifying user identities offers a promising solution to address some of the challenges faced by paid media managers on Twitter compared to competitors Meta and Google. By tapping into verified user data, X's ad platform may bridge the gap in targeting capabilities, ensuring campaigns reach the right audience with enhanced precision. This data-driven approach holds the potential to elevate conversion rates and optimise return on ad spend, while also mitigating concerns about ad fraud and improving the overall trust and confidence of advertisers in the platform. As X embraces verified user data, paid media managers could expect a more robust and effective ad ecosystem that rivals the advertising capabilities of the industry-leading platforms.
4. Reimagining E-commerce: As an "everything app", X aims to introduce a unique marketplace model. While the specifics of this model remain unknown, it could draw inspiration from platforms like Facebook Marketplace, where consumers can sell products to one another, or TikTok & Instagram Shops, offering brands an avenue to sell products directly in platform. For paid media managers, this presents an exciting hypothetical opportunity to explore innovative ad formats that seamlessly integrate with the shopping experience. Imagine interactive shoppable ads that enable users to make purchases directly within the app, elevating brand engagement, reducing the number of pages on the path to conversion, and creating a more immersive e-commerce journey.
5. Harnessing the Power of AI in Advertising: The integration of AI through xAI on the X platform opens a realm of hypothetical possibilities for paid media managers. With an AI-driven system, marketers could leverage the vast amount of user data, allowing for more refined targeting and personalisation of ad campaigns. AI could analyse user behaviour, preferences, and interactions to create highly tailored content that resonates with the audience, leading to improved engagement and higher conversion rates. Moreover, AI-powered analytics could provide real-time insights, enabling paid media managers to make data-driven decisions, optimise ad performance, and allocate budgets more effectively. In short… social media’s response to PMAX.
6. Competition in the Evolving Landscape: Our last thought is of the competition. As X ventures into uncharted territory, it leaves room for other platforms like Threads and Medium to cater to the needs of Twitter's traditional core user base. Paid media managers must remain adaptable and open to experimentation as user bases may shift and change in the coming months. While tweet-like text platforms might still have their place, the introduction of X's proposed & hypothesised new functions will intensify the competition against social media giants like Meta, Google, TikTok, and Snapchat, as well as other popular services like Acast, Shopify, and Paypal. This competitive environment will spur further innovation and enhancements, ultimately benefiting marketers who can explore diverse channels to reach their target audience and make use of new innovative ad features.
As mentioned, the content of this article is purely speculative and based on assumptions from available information and our team having some fun thinking up ways the platform may develop. Actual features and functionalities of X may differ from what is mentioned here.
As of now, Elon Musk's reimagining of Twitter into X is still in motion and with many unknowns. Yet it's an exciting prospect for the world of paid media marketing. While we cannot predict the future, imagining the possibilities of X ignites excitement among paid media experts. We eagerly anticipate how this reimagining will unfold and its potential impact on the advertising landscape.
If you’d like to speak with Planit about how we may be able to support your paid media requirements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org