What is the Twitter Ads Transparency Center and How Does it Affect You?

$51.3 billion.

That's what social media advertising revenue is expected to reach in 2018, with an extra expectation of a 10% growth each year.

With that much money on the line, some people are nervous about Twitter's recent announcement to open an advertising transparency center. A quarter of all U.S. markets advertise on this platform and will soon learn to adapt to the changes.

Knowing the new rules of the game will help you continue reaching your audience on a consistent basis. Read on to find out what the Twitter Ads Transparency Center means for you.

What Are Twitter Ads?

To understand what changes are being made, it's important to have a firm grasp on what Twitter ads are in general.

Twitter users can pay to have their content promoted on other users' accounts. These are most often used by business and politicians, but any Twitter user is able to pay to have an ad.

Twitter advertisers are not limited to advertising to their followers. Instead, advertisers can choose which demographic will see their tweets.

Advertisers can target their advertisements by their interests, gender, behavior, location, keyword use, and language. Other options exist as well.

Promotions come in one of three formats:

  • Tweets: A tweet from the advertiser is posted on the chosen demographic's timeline.
  • Accounts: A suggestion to follow an account along with a tweet is posted on the chosen demographic's timeline.
  • Trends: Advertisers can create trends with a list of tweets about a topic. They can also pay to put these trends at the top of a user's trending list.

What does the Twitter Ads Transparency Center Do?

Previously, Twitter ads of any kind had relatively little monitoring, and other users did not have a database to search. The Twitter Ads Transparency Center changes this.

It allows someone to search for the advertisements posted by any account over the past 7 days. You can also see what kind of engagement the tweet has had.

A Twitter account is not required to use the system.

Political Ads

Twitter will publicize more information available about political advertisements and advertisers.

This increase in information is because the transparency center's main focus is on political accounts.

Twitter isn't allowing other countries to see their own political information, but Twitter hopes to expand the service throughout the world.

Users can see how much money political accounts spent on the ad and what audience they targeted. Those buying political advertisements will also have to provide more information than other users.

Their accounts will need to have a bio, a link to a website with contact information, and other identifying factors laid out in Twitter's political campaigning policy.

Unlike general advertisements, users will be able to find political promotions for more than seven days after the last day of the promotion.

How It Will Affect Your Twitter Ads

The Twitter Ads Transparency Center will only minimally affect your business' advertising. Unless you advertise political messages, Twitter isn't as worried about monitoring your advertising.

That being said, you should be aware of two possibilities.

  1. Slowed processing. One of the ways Twitter is cracking down on political advertising is by reviewing ads more carefully. This reviewing takes time and is expected to increase the amount of time it takes for Twitter ads to be approved.This probably will not hurt your long-term advertising goals, but you might not be able to respond to unexpected market changes or a competitor's advertising
  2. Competitor's advantage. Your competitors will be able to see what you have been promoting for the past few days. They might start their own promotion to try to cancel out your advertising. Although they could previously see it on their own timelines, they will be able to monitor easily with the new search tool.Although that may be frustrating, the slowed processing might work to your advantage in this case. Your competitors might be unable to get their advertisement approved quickly enough.

Overall, for non-political advertisers, the Twitter Ads Transparency Center will hardly change anything.

Why the Center Exists

Twitter created the Twitter Ads Transparency Center in response to growing pressures from lawmakers and citizens.

How does Twitter compare to Facebook?

Facebook created a similar program to the Twitter Ads Transparency Center. The center's main focus is on political ads as well, but it will have influences on all Facebook and Instagram advertising.

On Facebook's site, users can visit a section in pages to see what ads the page is running at that time. Once the ad campaign is over, though, users will not be able to see it.

At one point, Facebook considered removing all political ads from its site. Instead, they settled on creating stricter protective measures.

Political advertisements on Facebook will include a label telling the user who paid for the ad. Users can also search an archive of all politically natured advertisements.

Politically natured advertisements also include those advertisements posted by news organizations. Only news organizations with political content will be subjected to this rule though.

Next Steps

While you may not see many changes from the Twitter Ads Transparency Center, it will only help you to continue learning how to take advantage of Twitter advertising. Read our article on best practices for Twitter advertising for more about this.

And, if you have any other questions, please contact us.

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