My personal relationship with Twitter hit a milestone on Christmas Eve. For the first time, a Promoted Tweet — an ad, essentially — made me want to laugh and share rather than grimace and push on through my news feed. Even better, from Twitter’s perspective, is the fact that I was on the mobile app when it happened.
The promoted tweet, perfectly timed for holiday joke-telling, was so witty, subtle and brief, I don’t even mind giving the company some free publicity by repeating it in a story. It was from Dos Equis, and simply read: “He speaks reindeer.” No further words, nor even a link, were necessary. (I don’t often remember promoted tweets, but when I do …)
Ads that work this well are extremely hard to blend into social media, even harder to accomplish in a mobile context. As we discovered in 2012, the formula is almost impossible to get right, and getting it wrong means pissing off millions of users.
But Twitter seems to be closer to cracking the code than most. Its ad sales are rising precipitously, to the point that 2013 is going to be a very good year indeed — one where the company may start to glimpse the giddy heights of $1 billion in annual revenue, and where it might make sense for the company to go public. Read more…