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Twitter, that magical place where people try to debate complex issues in 140 character soundbyte fashion, is going full speed ahead with its plans to enter the advertising game. Users who love movies can expect to see targeted ads heading their way in the not too distant future. So, if you’re tweeting about Guardians of the Galaxy, expect to see new advertisements for every sci-fi film coming down the pipeline…
The Hollywood Reporter has the full details of the San Francisco-based social media platform’s new plans to help monetize the service. The company is set to roll out a beta test of the new ad system in the coming months, and is hailing it as "a pain free experience for studios." Notice that they didn’t say it would be a pain free experience for you…
The new system will essentially scan tweets for mentions of popular films, genres, actors, and so on, then target advertising based on those discussions to the user. It doesn’t stop there, though – they’ll also target ads at people who are simply talking about specific keywords – like, say, Darth Vader instead of Star Wars or Wonder Woman as opposed to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Studios who opt into the service won’t even have to specify those sorts of keywords – Twitter will do that one on its own.
Getting into the movie marketing business makes sense for Twitter on some levels. Their own marketing research demonstrates that the platform is a good influencer in terms of convincing people to see or avoid certain films. Jeff Graham, Twitter’s top research guy, elaborated.
"Our recent research shows that Twitter is a major influence on movie choice. Not only are people hearing about new movies on Twitter, they are using it to make a decision about what to see, then sharing their experience with friends."
Of course, the difference is that Twitter users promote movies to their friends – not giant studios and corporations. Most users are more likely to be swayed by a tweet from a friend (either real life or virtual) extolling the awesomeness of the newest blockbuster than they are an ad or Tweet from a studio, who clearly has a vested interest in creating positive spin. With that in mind, I’m not sure how effective the targeted ads will be.
It’s hard to begrudge Twitter for trying to make a few bucks. The wildly popular site has never hurt for users, but has struggled to find ways to really monetize its product. Targeted ads could alleviate that issue to a degree (the company has already been using them on TV fans for awhile now…), without alienating users too severely.
Will targeted ads on Twitter annoy you to no end, or are you so used to this form of advertising at this point that you’ve learned to completely ignore it? I can already see a future where people are saying Tak3n instead of Taken 3 just to throw off the bots. Wait, that's really what they're calling the third Taken movie? Taken with a 3 in it? And these guys are all getting paid lots of money and have fancy degrees? To paraphrase Danny Glover, I'm too old for this crap...
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