Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Ads Move Forward by Carving Up The Globe

A small but important step in the evolution of Twitter’s ad business: The company is now letting some marketers segment some of their purchases by location.

Which means a Twitter user in, say, the U.K. may now see a different ad than one in the U.S.

If this strikes you as a common-sense must-have feature for any Web ad business–let alone one with Google-sized ambitions–you’re right. Which shows just how embryonic Twitter’s ad product is today, nearly a year after launch.

The positive spin here is that these moves show how much upside Twitter sales boss Adam Bain has in front of him–if the product is this crude now, it has nowhere to go but up. The flip side is that the product is still very crude.

The details: Twitter is now letting some beta testers target Promoted Tweets–the ad units that are actually Twitter messages–by country. Within the U.S., buyers can narrow their targeting down to the city level. And it is also letting testers target Promoted Accounts–its pay-per-follower feature–by country.

Here’s Twitter’s comment:

Since we first launched Promoted Tweets last April, we have said that enabling marketers to geo-target advertising on Twitter was a key next step in our ad platform’s continued evolution… We continuously launch features to enhance the advertising experience on Twitter. As with all of our advertising efforts, we are watching this test closely and will use feedback from advertisers and Twitter users to fine-tune and iterate on the feature.

[Image credit: Chokola]


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work