Twitter (X) ad revenue has been plummeting.
Sources report that ad revenue has been down by almost 50% since Musk took over last October, and Musk himself has more recently claimed that it’s down by 60% (though of course, that’s not his fault).
With advertisers understandably not keen on running ads alongside potentially harmful content, it’s no surprise that this has happened.
I’ve personally noticed a real change in the quality of ads which are still being shown on Twitter. And there is a distinct lack of big brands.
Most ads are from cruddy accounts which have purchased blue ticks, selling cruddy products at inflated prices (as confirmed by community notes and comments that show the same products are available for significantly less from drop shipping sites such as AliExpress).
Lots of these cruddy accounts end up being suspended, or they simply delete the ad, and republish a new one.
A few minutes of scrolling my feed served up ads from these very legitimate-looking businesses. You’ll notice a lot of them have comments off to prevent them from being called out.
But with Twitter/X announcing that it plans to outsource some of its ad space to the Google Display Network (GDN), this could be about to change.
The Twitter/X Ads platform is wack
It’s no secret that advertisers are not keen on the Twitter/X Ads platform. With limited creative, targeting, and reporting, it’s no wonder that brands choose to invest ad spend in other paid channels, such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Meta.
The one benefit it does have is that it’s affordable – and way, way, cheaper than Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads for comparable reach.
So, if Twitter becomes a Placement on the Google Display Network (GDN), what benefits might this bring to advertisers?
Should advertisers be excited about Twitter/X being part of the GDN?
At the moment, there are no real details on what exactly this entails, beyond ads being eligible to show on the Twitter/X home feed inventory. That’s not exciting at all (from Google’s standpoint) as they already have hundreds of thousands of other sites signed up to allow ads to be placed on their web pages. And honestly, it’s not that exciting to advertisers, either.
Twitter/X being available as a Placement on the GDN is not that much of a big deal in my opinion. I’ve got major concerns with the quality of Placements in Google’s Display Network, too – even with the numerous targeting methods it offers advertisers.
The only additional downside I can see to advertisers using Twitter/X as a Placement for GDN ads is that as with Twitter, there is little to no control over what content your ads may appear next to.
The only benefits I can see to Twitter/X becoming a Placement on the GDN is that advertisers won’t have to use the Twitter Ads platform to manage ads, and may have some improved creative options if they are being set up within the Google Ads platform instead. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Could there be more to this ‘partnership’ that hasn’t yet been disclosed?
Some experts are speculating that there could be more to this partnership than meets the eye. If data is shared between the two platforms, this could open up new opportunities, with access to a much wider pool of engaged users from another channel entirely, coupled with more precise targeting and better reporting.
Twitter/X did previously integrate with the Microsoft (Bing) Advertising platform, but this was dropped back in April. The reason appears to be due to the new API pricing tiers. This could mean that any potential integration between Twitter/X and the Google Ads platform is likely to be costly.
With that in mind, for now at least, I can’t see this ‘partnership’ being any more than Twitter/X being yet another Placement on the GDN as they attempt to claw back lost ad revenue. Yawn.