Twitter Makes A Move To Monetize Its Logged-Out Users

TwitteroffplatformTwitter on Thursday made its first attempt to capitalize on its logged-out audience with the launch of a private beta test program with select advertisers in the US, UK, Japan and Australia to target promoted tweets and promoted videos at users who aren’t logged into Twitter.

As of Q3 2015, Twitter had around 320 million MAUs – and investors are obsessed with that growth (or lack thereof). But there are also more than 500 million logged-out users who have yet to be monetized, a group that includes those who click on tweets that show up in Google searches.

MAUs combined with logged-out users creates a total potential audience – what various Twitter executives, including COO Adam Bain and CFO Anthony Noto, have taken to calling Twitter’s “total audience” – of more than 800 million people. CEO Jack Dorsey has also referenced the 1 billion monthly visits made to websites that include embedded tweets – reach not included in the 800 million number – as evidence of Twitter’s potential.

Promoted tweet and video creative will display on logged-out profile pages and individual tweet pages. For the moment, they’ll only show up on desktop.

The user experience, the ad creative and the targeting criteria will be the same for logged-in and logged-out users alike, said Deepak Rao, a revenue product manager at Twitter.

“We directly target the millions of Twitter users who don’t log into Twitter using the same social behavior targeting signals that you use today in the Twitter app,” Rao said. “For users who are visiting Twitter but are not logged in, we look at what tweets they are consuming and what accounts they are interested in. This behavior gives us a great picture of who a person is and what they are interested in.”

LO_DesktopWeb_Profile_DRAlthough promoted tweets and videos won’t be visible in Google search results, logged-out users who click on Google search results will be taken to a logged-out version of Twitter, where they’ll have the opportunity to see ads, Rao said.

The goal of the test is to help advertisers on Twitter boost their campaigns by driving additional clicks, conversions or video views, depending on the ad product.

It’s a “big step for our ads business,” said Rao, because it expands Twitter’s reach beyond the constraints of monthly MAUs.

“Twitter is ubiquitous – people read tweets in the Twitter app, in thousands of other apps, online, on TV, in newspapers and in a multitude of other places,” he said. “By monetizing this audience, we’re more than doubling the unique audience that a marketer can reach on Twitter.”

Monetizing logged-off users has been on the road map for some time. Way back in July 2014, former CEO Dick Costolo told investors during the company’s Q2 2014 earnings call that Twitter was planning to “invest in maximizing the size” of its audience, with logged-out users comprising a cornerstone of that strategy.

At the end of August, Twitter expanded its ad syndication capabilities with the beta launch of the rebranded Twitter Audience Platform (TAP), formerly known at the Twitter Audience Network. The move enables advertisers to expand their ad campaigns from Twitter to a broader audience of roughly 700 million people across Twitter’s owned-and-operated properties, as well as on third-party apps and sites, through an integration with MoPub, Twitter’s mobile exchange.

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