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Twitter Shares New Insights into the Evolving Gaming Conversation via Tweet, Which Reached Record Highs in 2021

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Twitter Shares New Insights into the Evolving Gaming Conversation via Tweet, Which Reached Record Highs in 2021


Gaming is a key pillar of online culture, and is arguably now even more influential than ever, after two years of lockdowns which have forced youngsters to find alternative means of social connection, largely through gaming platforms.

Indeed, kids now spend more time than ever on Fortnite, Roblox and other collaborative gaming networks, which provides both a means to stay in touch with friends, while also keeping them entertained. Such platforms showcase the foundations of what many now see as the metaverse, interconnected digital worlds where people can socialize and collaborate, in a wide range of ways, facilitating endless possibilities.

Indeed, it’s likely to be this next generation that will truly integrate the metaverse shift, and as such, it’s interesting to see how gaming culture is evolving, and what trends are driving the next wave of consumers in this realm.

Which is where the latest gaming data from Twitter comes in.

As explained by Twitter:

2021 was another record year for gaming chatter on Twitter, as Twitter continued to serve as the go-to place for game publishers, gaming media, popular streamers and entertainers, esports leagues, teams, players and commentators. In 2021, there were more than 2.4 BILLION Tweets about gaming, up 14% year over year and a more than 10x increase from 2017. And, Q4 2021 was the biggest quarter for gaming conversation ever on Twitter.”

Again, if you want to view the future of online connection, and what the metaverse will be, I’d be looking towards gaming, as opposed to NFTs, crypto and other tangential elements.

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Looking at the gaming conversation on Twitter, the top games reflect some of the aforementioned open space environments, along with other well-known gaming franchises.

I’m actually surprised that Roblox isn’t in there, given that it now sees over 43 million daily active users, but Minecraft, Fortnite and Animal Crossing are all similar, socially-integrated and collaborative worlds, aligning with the metaverse shift.

Japanese Twitter users were the most active in the gaming conversation, followed by those in the US and South Korea.

Twitter Gaming 2021

Gaming culture is huge in Asia, where games like Genshin Impact and Apex Legends are particularly popular, while Japan is now also home to Twitter’s second-largest regional user base, only trailing the US.

It’s interesting to also consider the popularity of gaming creators, with the top gamers now just as popular as the top sports stars in many respects.

Twitter Gaming in 2021

That might seem like an exaggeration, in equating video game players with the influence of sports stars, but the fact is that many youngsters now spend more time gaming than doing anything else. And while generations past envisioned themselves kicking the winning goal, the next generation is just as likely to daydream about getting the winning elimination in their favorite FPS.

Like it or not, this is the new reality, and with gamers now also earning millions for their gameplay skills, it makes perfect sense that many kids now see this as a viable pathway for their future.

Twitter also provides stats on the top gaming creators, and those building a presence within the space.

Twitter Gaming 2021

Again, gaming is now a critical element in broader web culture and trends, and if you’re not aware of gaming trends and behaviors, you’re likely missing critical context in many current shifts.

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Which, again, will only become more important as we look towards the next big change, and integrating more activity in online environments. Kids already do this, they’re already finding entirely new ways to communicate, collaborate and engage within these game worlds, which will eventually bridge the way to broader use of the metaverse, however it comes to be.

This is where the metaverse is truly taking root, and growing from, youngsters who are developing habitual social behaviors within these environments.

Understanding this will become more important over time, while maintaining awareness of gaming shifts right now can help you formulate more resonant, relevant approaches in your marketing.

You can read Twitter’s full gaming overview for 2021 here.





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Google Proposes New ‘Topics’ Approach to Replace Cookie Tracking

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Google Proposes New 'Topics' Approach to Replace Cookie Tracking


As part of its ongoing effort to phase out third-party cookie tracking, and replace it with a new, privacy-friendly data insights process for web publishers, Google has today announced a shift in its approach, with a new topic-based structure now being proposed to both protect user privacy and facilitate publisher insight.

The new process will replace Google’s FLoC, or ‘Federated Learning of Cohorts’ process, which it had been working on to replace cookies.

As explained by Google:

With Topics, your browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent your top interests for that week based on your browsing history. Topics are kept for only three weeks and old topics are deleted. Topics are selected entirely on your device without involving any external servers, including Google servers. When you visit a participating site, Topics picks just three topics, one topic from each of the past three weeks, to share with the site and its advertising partners.”

So instead of providing more specific insight on individual user behaviors and interests, Google would enable advertisers and publishers to utilize topics for tracking, protecting user information while also catering to third-party data needs.

Which makes some sense, though there are some provisos that will need to be ironed out before Google takes its topics approach live.

For one, Google says that the topics list would be limited to around 350 topics “to reduce the risk of fingerprinting”. Which would indeed ensure enhanced privacy, but if Google was to increase the number of topics, that could become problematic, enabling more specific, and potentially discriminatory targeting based on these elements.

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For its part, Google says that its list of topics is thoughtfully curated to exclude sensitive categories, such as gender or race”. So it should cover off on any such concerns, but still, the more options available, the more specific targeting can get, which may not be a significant enough improvement on current data privacy processes.

Another key question, much like Apple’s ATT update, is whether Google itself will be bound by the same tracking limitations as its customers.

Evidence suggests that Apple is not limited by the same data-privacy requirements as the apps that utilize its network, and with Google having direct access to the raw response data, it too would be able to use that as a market advantage, improving its own position.

That’s the basis of several current legal challenges to Apple’s ATT update, and indeed Google’s own plans, with publishers claiming that the shift to phase out external data-tracking is in violation EU law, on antitrust grounds.

The legal technicalities could change the approach from both entirely, and it is interesting to note what limitations Google will or won’t put on itself as a result of this proposed change.

From a user standpoint, Google says that Topics would give people more control over their online experience, as it will be more transparent than cookies.

“And, by providing websites with your topics of interest, online businesses have an option that doesn’t involve covert tracking techniques, like browser fingerprinting, in order to continue serving relevant ads.

It is an interesting proposal, which does appear to cater to both users and publishers, and facilitate ongoing ad targeting in a post-cookie environment. But there are some intricacies that we’ll need to see more detail on before we can assess the full viability of the option.

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But ideally, eventually, the proposal will enable advertisers to continue using more advanced online targeting, as opposed to cutting them off completely, and reducing the effectiveness of digital ads.

You can read more about Google’s new Topics proposal here.



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Twitter Updates Video Playback in the New Version of TweetDeck

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Twitter Updates Video Playback in the New Version of TweetDeck


Twitter has added another element to the preview version of the next stage of TweetDeck, which will now enable users to expand and watch video clips from a TweetDeck column as they continue to use the app.

As you can see in this example, now, when you click to play a video clip, it will stay docked at the bottom of your window if you scroll past, so you can keep watching while you check out the latest tweets in your streams.

You’ll also be able to undock the video playback, pin it to another location or dismiss the video, while the playback will also continue even if you switch decks, or remove the column that it came from entirely.

It’s the latest addition to the growing feature base in the updated TweetDeck, which Twitter first launched last July, and is still in invite-only Preview mode.  Selected users in the US, Canada and Australia can access the new format, though you can also get a sense of the new functions by temporarily gaining access by editing the HTML code on the site.

The updated version of the tweet management platform includes improved column creation, ‘Decks’ for building multiple dashboards in the app, updated tweet presentation, so you can see how your tweets will look before they go live, list discovery, DM management and more.

It’s a better-looking, better functioning version of TweetDeck, and given it’s now been in testing for six months, it seems likely that it will soon become the default version of the platform, available to all users.

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Though Twitter could also look to monetize it.

I mean, Hootsuite has over 200,000 paying users, and how many of them are utilizing its platform just to schedule tweets? If Twitter went the same route, and charged businesses a small fee for access to TweetDeck, along with additional enhanced tools, and ideally, updated tweet analytics, I suspect many would indeed pay, adding another revenue pathway for the company.

And with Twitter still working on subscription models and other revenue generation options, it could be a more viable pathway than, say, Twitter Blue, which hasn’t become a major winner as yet.

To be clear, Twitter has directly suggested that it might look to monetize TweetDeck, as such, though Twitter Product Chief Kayvon Beykpour, did make this comment on the launch of the TweetDeck Preview test last July:

“Through these tests, we’re exploring how we can give people more customization and control using TweetDeck. We want to get feedback on how we can expand TweetDeck’s offerings for those who use it the most. We’ll take these lessons into account as we explore what TweetDeck could look like within Twitter’s subscription offerings later on. We’ll have more to share soon as we learn from these tests.”

So Twitter has, at the least, considered the potential in this respect, and if it is looking to significantly enhance the tool, and add in advanced analytics, especially following the removal of its Audience Insights element from Twitter Analytics in 2020, then again, I would suggest that many brands would indeed pay.

There are valuable tools that Twitter could build in, based on existing third-party tweet analytics options, which could make it worth any extra cost, and brands would be keen to track more data if it becomes available.

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There are no new analytics elements in the TweetDeck Preview as yet, but it does seem like an area of potential as Twitter continues to evolve the tool.





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Twitter Adds New Data Tracking Options to Ad Manager, New Overview of Tag Events

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Twitter Adds New Data Tracking Options to Ad Manager, New Overview of Tag Events


Twitter has announced some new updates to its ad platform which are designed to streamline ad targeting, while also providing more insights on campaign performance.

First off, Twitter’s changing the name of its ‘Website Clicks & Conversions’ objective to ‘Website Traffic’, a more generalized header, which will now also include a new ‘Site Visits Optimization’ goal within your available campaign objectives.

As you can see here, now, when setting up a Website Traffic campaign, you’ll be able to use ‘Site visits’ as the goal, which will then direct Twitter’s system to serve your ads to audiences most likely to visit your website.

“By enabling the Twitter Website Tag, Twitter is able to track actions that audiences take on an advertiser’s website and attribute them to their Twitter ads campaigns.”

That will then enable Twitter’s systems to better determine audience objectives, and present your ads to the right users. Twitter says that it’s seen strong results with site visits in testing, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the new goal generates better direct response to your promoted tweets.

In addition to this, Twitter’s also adding a new aggregated view of site metrics and conversion events within Twitter Ads Manager, which Twitter’s adding as a means to counter data loss as a result of Apple’s ATT update, and more users opting out of in-app tracking.

The process will utilize data gathered via Twitter’s website tag to provide a generalized estimate of key metrics, by Ad Group, at campaign level, by device type (iOS or Android), and placement-level, where possible.

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The data obviously won’t be as accurate as you would get from direct reporting via the Twitter tag on each user response, but by providing some insight into user actions, Twitter will be able to replace a level of indicative insight that’s been lost due to the iOS change.

And finally, Twitter’s adding a new ‘Events Manager’ dashboard to manage your Twitter Website Tag and its associated web-based conversion events.

Twitter ads update

As you can see here, the new Events Manager overview will provide in-depth insight on tag events, enabling you to better track and utilize the data being gathered from your site visitors.

These are handy updates, more focused on advanced Twitter marketers, but facilitating new levels of ad performance insight, which could help to maximize your ad results. And while aggregated data is no replacement for direct attribution, in the wake of Apple’s ATT update, marketers need to work with what they can, and these supplemental insights will help to provide more guidance in your approach.

You can read more about Twitter’s new ad platform updates here.





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