Twitter rolls out new API: a double edged sword?
The immensely popular social network has just recently made two significant changes to its user interface – changes that affect the way both marketers and other Twitter users are interacting with it. The company is launching a new ads API and notably reducing the number of characters in a single tweet. To clarify – API stands for Application Programming Interface and refers to how marketers are running ads on Twitter.
What it means for brands
The new API will give brands the tools to handle tweets on a much bigger scale as well as making it possible to run automated ads throughout multiple platforms. Twitter says the implication of these changes is that it will give brands the ability to operate in conjunction with Twitter’s initial group of API associates, to manage Twitter ad campaigns and integrate them into the brand’s existing multi-channel advertising strategies.
More targeted and more relevant
The Promoted Tweets that advertisers currently use to spread marketing messages will still be seen by Twitter users. Although brands can already promote their content and social handles to certain audiences through profile types and search keywords – it will now be possible to elect more appropriate times for sending content that is more relevant to what the user wants to see at that time. This will advance the chances for a user to engage with the brand’s content and keep Twitter users from being swamped by unwanted, irrelevant advertising. Marketers will be assisted with headlines, ad copy and targeting criteria and it will be much easier to keep track of performance.
In a nutshell
The point is – the right message at the right time to the right people will get the right response – and the new API is meant to make that process flow much more smoothly and easily.
The big BUT
As the heading states, these changes can have both a desirable and an undesirable effect, depending on how it will be managed. It’s no secret that people are not using Twitter to be entertained by advertisements, and in that regard brands must be very careful to not take the increased efficiency to bombard their audience with more – but to take advantage of the tools and improve the engagement.
You’ll have to learn to say it better – and shorter. Twitter implemented some changes in its URL shortener (t.co) and the result is that instead of the 140 character limit, tweets must now be limited to 118 (if you tweet a URL) or 117 (when you tweet http links). This implies that links will be taking up more space and force users to write shorter messages. Twitter stated that these changes were put into effect for security reasons to protect Twitter users.
70 is the new 140
Now don’t despair! According to a research study, the tweets that get the most responses and re-tweets almost never exceed 70 characters, which means the old saying ‘sweet and short’ certainly holds true in online marketing.
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