This Week In Ad Ops: Twitter Opens Up to Advertisers, and More

Twitter Opens Up to Advertisers With APIs

Twitter Opens Up to New Era

Has Twitter hopped on the Facebook train? Well, with the release of its own advertising API earlier this week, it may seem like it to some. The much-anticipated API program launched Tuesday to equal parts fanfare and fright. The program offers two APIs, one for promoted tweets and one for promoted accounts, and will offer advertisers a much more streamlined way to create and manage both small- and large-scaled Twitter campaigns, while integrating Twitter-based campaigns with those on other channels. And, more importantly, the APIs will offer up a feature notoriously missing from Twitter – analytics, and cross-platform analytics at that.

“This is just the start of our efforts that will give advertisers more choice,” said Twitter’s Revenue Product Manager (and fellow Texas alum) April Underwood on a recent Twitter blog post announcing the launch. “And, for our partners who are ad tool providers, the Ads API represents a new way for their expertise to meet the needs of their clients.” 

The new API is currently only open to a few partners, including Adobe, Saleforce, SHIFT, HootSuite, and TBG Digital. 

Twitter’s newest APIs will, indeed, help advertisers further develop their presences on the social networking site; and, more importantly, help monitor campaigns across platforms. But, for many, one question cannot be ignored – will Twitter become Facebook? 

Mashable’s Todd Wasserman says, ‘not so fast,’ to the allegation, arguing that while the comparisons are definitely warranted, Twitter’s relationship with advertising is a bit different.  A pleasant user experience is paramount to Twitter’s company philosophy, Wasserman argued. And, news from Twitter’s home base seems to follow suit. 

“Our Ads API launch today will help bring even better real-time marketer content to the platform. Marketers win by being good vs. loud,” Twitter’s President of Global Revenue Adam Bain tweeted on Wednesday. 

While the verdict is still out on just how the new APIs will change the Twitter user experience, one thing is more or less clear, ad APIs are good for the marketplace – and Twitter’s bottom line. 

Consider this: Facebook’s revenue went up by more than $2.9 billion in the three years after its API releases. What’s Twitter’s outlook? Bright, according to eMarketer, which expects Twitter’s revenue to go up by 90 percent in 2013 alone, Wasserman notes. 

This news from Twitter is just the latest in the growing importance of social data in the advertising and marketing industries. Claudia Page and Jonathan Glick from social opinion-leading website Sulia will be on hand to discuss how advertisers and marketers can creatively leverage social data during this year’s OPS Markets conference, April 4, in New York. 

Funding and Acquisitions, Oh My!

It’s seldom that one of these Friday roundups rolls by without some developments on the company front. And, this week, we bring you a piece of big news that are sure to shake the industry up a bit. 

[x+1], one of the leading digital marketing software companies, announced Tuesday, that it has acquired tag management company UberTags,  bringing universal tag and attribution support to [x+1]’s leading platform – Origin. 

“Our goal at [x+1] is to provide marketers with one platform that can deliver the greatest scale and value across all customer touchpoints,” said John Nardone, chief executive officer of [x+1]. 

“UberTags will provide [x+1] clients with a proven capability for managing cross-touchpoint tag deployments.”

UberTags cloud-based tag management system has helped simplify tags for more than 100 websites, while helping improve page load times.

“Our technology is a perfect complement for [x+1] because it is natively multichannel, multiplatform and multivendor,” said UberTags’ Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Bieger. 

“With the UberTags technology a core part of the Origin platform, [x+1] clients will launch vendors in real-time, define data once to power all vendors, and finally be able to tie it all together into meaningful 360-degree marketing.”

Stay tuned to AdMonsters as we cover more of the various interesting developments in website tagging.

Programmatic Pushback?

In the latest RTB news, programmatic joint venture quadrantONE has officially folded abruptly Thursday, after issues concerning future investments, partnerships, among other things. The New York Times Company, Tribune, Gannett and Hearst were primary partners in the private exchange, which allowed news properties to pool inventory and take advantage of a broader range of programmatic opportunities. 

But, in the two year’s since quadrantONE’s inception, Moore’s Law seems to have graced the programmatic industry with better yields, CPMs, and simpler buying and selling. In other words, today’s big name exchanges are bringing results to major publishers, pushing quadrantONE into a somewhat premature obsolescence. 

“As a result of the many changes that have occurred in the digital advertising marketplace over the last several years, the owner companies of quadrantONE have decided to seek different paths for national display advertising,” read the quadrantONE website on Thursday. 

Bridging the Buy-Sell River (Gavin Dunaway, US Editor)

“The plan was always to automate everything,” said Rubicon Project Founder and CEO Frank Addante at the company’s annual NYC summit. 

Indeed, the theme, automation was highlighted just about everywhere at the conference – giant signs featured the phonetic pronunciation and a definition while the term was employed as the wifi password.

In previewing Revv 4.0, generation four of its supply side platform, Rubicon’s focus is increasingly focused on “automation for direct orders,” Addante said. “We want to get the technology out of the middle and place it underneath the transaction.” 

During his opening keynote, he noted the steep cost of inefficiency through research from NextMark, including the infamous 42-step chart that elucidates why the cost of bringing a $500,000 campaign to market is $40,000 and required 40 hours of legwork to initialize.

If this sounds familiar, it’s one of the chief marketing tenants of nascent players pushing programmatic premium solutions, namely programmatic guaranteed. Rubicon is aiming to streamline direct sales by automating processes that merely add time and work by remaining manual – and not just for display, but across all publisher channels (especially mobile). The company is not offering a bill-to-fill platform similar to isocket, Shiny Ads and AdSlot, though it’s easy to see Rubicon eventually jumping on such an opportunity. 

Here are some other highlights from the event:

Addante suggested that between 2013 and 2013, average processing time for RTB transactions will fall from 300 ms to 30 ms. That’s industry-wide, but not quite as fast as digital stock market transactions (think nanoseconds). 

Revv 4.0 is rebuilt from the ground up, featuring specially designed technology meant to grow with the market. SVP of Product Management John Slade: “We needed a class of machines that didn’t exist.” Internal and external engineers were assembled build these along with custom chip sets. The data pipeline was completely rebuilt to process 6 terabytes daily.

Some impressive statistics: Rubicon delivers 6 billion automated impressions daily, with 2.7 trillion potential bid requests for every impression. With 21,000 CPU cores, Rubicon claims to handle six times the trading value of NASDAQ

Lofty goals from new President Greg Raifman: “Imagine a time when Super Bowl ads are bought and sold through the Rubicon Project platform.”

Lori Tavoularis, Tribune Managing Director of Revenue Partnerships, noted that managing 60 apps 36 mobile websites for various Tribune publications was downright cumbersome, which was why the company is increasingly employing responsive design. While local markets really embrace the potential of mobile, buyers are still quite hesitant about mobile inventory.

Chief Data Scientist Neil Richter, who co-wrote an impressive piece for us last year on evolving efficiencies in RTB , commented  that publishers put a lot of effort into packaging inventory only to see it disregarded in the exchange and ignored by DSPs with a different system.