Between Twitter’s preparations for a possible IPO and Facebook’s changes in anticipation of its updated news feed, it’s not surprising to hear that both social media giants are exploring new options for advertising revenue.
Facebook has added a tap-to-call feature in its recent mobile redesign. When visiting a business or brand page, users have the option to call the business straight from the Facebook mobile app. Much like how Google has implemented the feature for searches on a mobile device, Facebook is looking to capitalize on that success. According to a report in Adweek, the tap-to-call feature has helped propel Google to dominate 55 percent of the net mobile ad market this year.
While the tap-to-call feature, which allows users to call a business simply by tapping an ad or displayed phone number, seems like a useful feature for Facebook, it probably won’t be used as often as the social media company hopes. The majority of Google’s tap-to-call uses come from users searching for a business. Since Facebook mobile users don’t typically search for businesses on the platform, the company’s best bet may be to promote ads for specials – whether from restaurants, dentists or even car dealerships – that encourage users to “tap-to-call” for an appointment or reservation.
As for Twitter, the 140-characters-or-less platform is also looking to channel Google with keyword ad targeting. The company recently announced the added ability to help brands target promoted tweets based on key words in a tweet. So, if a user tweets about needing an oil change, a promoted tweet from Jiffy Lube may make its way on the user’s timeline.
The interesting part about Twitter’s endeavor is that the keyword targeting can be used alongside the tools the platform already uses, such as geolocation. So a local business would be able to target users within a certain location with a promoted tweet. The best part is that Twitter will also filter out negative tweets, so an ad doesn’t appear on someone bashing a specific business or product, which would agitate users.
All in all, this can be a very useful avenue for Twitter and advertisers alike. The ability to target specific users based on their “desires” (according to what they’re tweeting about) can be a big hit with consumers. That aforementioned person needing an oil change will be more inclined to check out a promoted tweet if it’s going to help them. The risk lies in whether this feature will annoy users, as it does with all advertising.
However, Twitter has shown it has very good quality control when it comes to its advertising. After all, users can still dismiss irrelevant promoted tweets. If they keep it up, this could be a very popular feature on the platform.
In fact, since both Twitter and Facebook took pages of “inspiration” from Google, it’s very possible that both companies can end up with similar advertising features – i.e. Facebook with keyword targeting and Twitter with tap-to-call capabilities.