DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) clients can soon use the buying platform to purchase Twitter Promoted Tweets across the mobile web, in-app and desktop. Read Google’s blog post.
The capability isn’t available yet, but Twitter CEO Dick Costolo anticipated a May release during the company's earnings call. Google first needs to do some technical jiggering to hook the inventory into DBM.
If all goes as planned, Twitter hopes the integration will "keep people consuming content and engaging with content whether they’re logged in or not,” according to Costolo. This is a major concentration for the microblogging site, as it struggles with stagnating monthly active user (MAU) growth rates.
And Google's DBM, for its part, will tap an inventory source whose format is particularly ideal for in-app advertising. The Twitter partnership adds to Google's other big inventory-related announcement less than two weeks ago: DBM’s access to the popular YouTube ad format TrueView.
The difference for Google is that it owns YouTube and will restrict TrueView inventory to DBM. The Twitter deal, by contrast, is not exclusive. But it’s still rare for demand-side platforms (DSPs) to hook into Promoted Tweets inventory, according to Brian Murdock, director of product commercialization at ad tech company MediaMath.
“To gain inventory on Twitter, you have to be a Twitter Marketing Platform Partner,” he said, adding that MediaMath has access via its acquisition last October of social platform Upcast.
While marketers can purchase Promoted Tweets through the social network’s proprietary Twitter Ads, buying through a platform partner like Upcast or, in the future, DBM provides better metrics.
Costolo focused on that benefit during Twitter's earnings call, saying the partnership will help advertisers better understand the return they get from Twitter.
"It’s an important step forward for us as it related to measurement and an important functionality our advertisers are asking for, and we’ll continue to go down the path of partnering with other third-party attribution models, as well,” he said. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto added that DoubleClick will provide Twitter with "attribution mechanisms that are unique to our tweets from a promoted and a favorite perspective.”
These partnerships can also enable better targeting. Ad tech company DataXu, according to its president and CEO, Mike Baker, has worked with Twitter so its clients’ data can be used to target Promoted Tweets while still leveraging “Twitter’s strength and scale in mobile.”
In adding TrueView and Promoted Tweets, Google has ensured DBM has (or will soon have) two unique types of inventory, which buying platforms need to have in order to remain competitive. Of course, these successive announcements will likely intensify complaints that Google is actively trying to push buyers into using its stack.
Still, it’s little surprise that a tech company is trying to make its platform as valuable as it can to users and potential users, especially with Facebook pushing its own differentiated ad tech offering.
At its F8 conference in March, Facebook revealed enhancements to its video supply-side platform LiveRail to enable identity-based marketing across devices and a bona fide mobile exchange. In other words, a potentially major competitor for Google’s DoubleClick Exchange.
Publicly, this had little to do with Google’s reason for hatching its deal with Twitter. But as its competitors bulk up, Google will also have to respond.
DataXu’s Baker noted that the Google-Twitter deal “provides a counterweight to Facebook’s growing mobile market share and entry into attribution measurement.”