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Twitter Tests New Options to Restrict Spaces Access to Smaller Groups

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Twitter Tests New Options to Restrict Spaces Access to Smaller Groups


Private Twitter Spaces are coming, with Twitter testing new options that would enable Spaces hosts to restrict who can join their audio discussions, facilitating more private chat sessions in the app.

As you can see in this example, posted by user Chloe Korzh (and shared by Matt Navarra), Twitter’s currently testing two new Spaces audience options that would enable Spaces hosts to limit access to either only those people that they specifically invite, or to ‘tweeps’ only – aka only your followers.

That could provide new usage considerations for Spaces, with the capacity to use the option for more intimate chats among friends, or to help build community by holding more private discussions among your audience.

That could also have specific value for brands, with the option to host exclusive audio chat sessions for super fans, or to provide followers only with new updates. Used well, this could become a growth tactic, with the FOMO factor helping to get more people to follow your brand account, in order to ensure that they too are invited to the next exclusive Spaces session outlining the latest product details and/or offers.

Spaces is still in a relatively early growth phase, despite being launched more than a year ago. Twitter has advanced the option significantly since its early testing, which was sparked by the sudden rise in interest in Clubhouse – yet, even so, the dedicated Spaces tab, for example, is still not available to all users, which means that the option still has some way to go in maximizing its opportunities, and truly testing whether it can become a more essential element in the broader tweet process.  

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Part of the problem, right now, is discovery, and ensuring that all users are aware of in-progress Spaces of interest as they happen. While Spaces are now recordable, the best of Spaces engagement comes in real time, and as such, in order to fully maximize the option, Twitter’s algorithms need to both understand the topics of interest to each user, and be able to highlight relevant Spaces immediately, whenever you’re in the app.

That’s not easy, because with everyone able to broadcast in the app, there’s a lot of irrelevant Spaces happening at any given time. So while the topic might match a users’ interests, if the Space quality is no good, getting them to tune in could actually further turn them off the option, limiting future take-up and growth.

As such, the only real way to highlight the most relevant Spaces is to show users when people that they follow are attending a broadcast. Which Twitter does, but that doesn’t necessarily tackle the issue of expanded topic discovery and engagement.

It’s a difficult balance, but maybe, with more intimate, enclosed Spaces groups, that could help to improve Space relevance, while also, as noted, facilitating new use cases and options.

We’ve asked Twitter for more info on the test and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.





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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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