Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Your Ad Here: Twitter’s (Big) Brand-Friendly Makeover

Twitter has gone through a whole lot of corporate turmoil in the past couple years — Ev out! Dick up! Jack back! — but at least one part of the company’s path has remained consistent: After trying to avoid becoming an ad-supported media company, it’s now embracing the idea with gusto.

So’s new overhaul may indeed make it easier and faster for users, as Liz Gannes reported this afternoon. But it’s also much more inviting to advertisers — the logical next step as the company tries to make Twitter more of a “consumption environment.”

There are two different things going on here: Twitter is making its basic site more attractive and engaging by making it easier to view things like embedded videos. And it has created “brand pages” for advertisers, where they can have a lot more control over what users see.

Both of these are very simple ideas, but they’re essential if the company is going to convince marketers that Twitter is more than a novelty.

A sticky site has an obvious upside for advertisers, because it gives them a better chance to get their messages — sold, right now, via “Promoted Tweets” — in front of more eyeballs. And the brand pages solve a basic problem that Twitter advertisers have had so far: They haven’t had a home page to deliver messages that might take longer than 140 characters.

Twitter isn’t charging for the brand pages, and it says they will open them up to everyone eventually. But it’s not a coincidence that it’s launching with big-budgeted marketers like American Express, Pepsi, Disney and Dell.

This is the kind of value-add product that sales boss Adam Bain and his team want to offer to big spenders, at the same time they’re rolling out a Google-like self-serve platform for small buyers.

You can see quite clearly how this will work for the big guys, once they figure out the best way to use it. Click on over to the new brand page for “Ghost Protocol,” the newest Mission: Impossible movie from Paramount, to see a good example. And if you can’t see, or just want to watch a video, I can help you out, too — here’s the key element of the new page:

[Shutterstock: Andrey Eremin]

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”