Twitter’s Ad API Anna Bratholm 25/02/2013 & Marta MattioliBackground and DetailsTwitter is opening its Advertising API (Application-Programming Interface), which will enable marketersto better use Twitter data streams to managecampaigns and improve targeting. For now it’s onlyopen to five bid management technology suppliers(Salesforce’s Buddy Media, Adobe, TBG Digital,Hootsuite, and SHIFT). Mindshare use Saleforce’sBuyBuddy as our preferred partner and early resultsfrom limited beta test campaigns show promisingresults. A wider roll-out is expected in the nearfuture.The API will enable advertisers to layer in additionalanalytics, trends and insights as well as performancedata to compile new audience profiles. In addition,the dashboards will take full advantage of the real-time reporting data, which will make targeting and set-up of multiple audiences a lot moremanageable. Access to performance data and the rise and fall of trends will make for better andmore engaging advertising, and marketers will be able to compare the performance of Twittercampaigns side-by-side with campaigns on other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.Twitter specifically highlighted that the launch of the API has had no effect on its actual algorithms.A good user experience is still the main focus of the company; bad performing tweets will still bepulled, and the number of ads served won’t change.ImplicationsAs the Twitter platform becomes more attractive from a marketing perspective, users can expectmore real-time ads that capitalize on trending topics such as Oreo’s rapid response to the recent#blackout during the Super Bowl. The net effect will be Twitter further cementing its emergingposition as the “second-screen” of choice for advertisers and consumers. Given that simultaneousTV and smartphone usage is on the rise (85% of US smartphone users watch TV and use theirmobile phones at the same time), Twitter’s scale in mobile users, and the fact it’s an experiencebuilt for small screens, gives it an edge in this space. Twitter’s recent acquisition of Bluefin (a socialTV measurement tool) is a further demonstration of its intent to maintain its perceived leadershipposition over Facebook when it comes to second-screen advertising.For advertisers, the API also means efficiencies both in terms of time spent managing Twittercampaigns, and better return of investment. The flip side is that lowering the entry barriers andincreasing efficiencies will drive up competition. On an auction based platform, competition meansincreased cost of inventory. First movers will undoubtedly harvest the highest returns, while lateradopters will find that their competitors have built quality, history and learning that could be costlyto outbid.SummaryThe launch of the Twitter API is good news for marketers, and is expected to further accelerate thealready robust growth in advertising spend on the platform. Twitter users should also get moreengaging and timely ads, particularly ones like Oreo’s ‘dunk in the dark’ that react to trendingtopics in real-time. Now expect the next move in the social wars from Facebook.