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New Year, New Twitter


Written by Alexa Ciattarelli | Senior Director, Ad Ops


With each turn of the calendar year, there comes a sense of renewal and opportunity to make resolutions. These resolutions vary — healthier eating, more exercise, less smoking — but all trend in a positive direction. As a result, every January, fast food lines are smaller, we see a rise in gym memberships, and there’s a decline in tobacco sales.


With this new year, however, there was one very big change we didn’t see coming.


Less than 72 hours after the Times Square ball dropped, @TwitterSafety announced they would be lifting the ban on political and issue-based ads. A ban, which by the way, has limited politicians and advocacy groups for over three years.



Despite not being a major source of income for Twitter (in 2018, political advertising reportedly brought in <$3M), this change could provide a bump in revenue that the company has been missing since Elon Musk’s takeover. At the very least, Twitter’s relaxation of the ban aligns the company with other media outlets that do allow for political and cause-based ads.


So how do we leverage this change? How do we capitalize on this new opportunity?


While the roadmap for political advertising is not clear (Twitter's business page still states promotion of political content is prohibited), the change will provide another outlet for cash-strapped campaigns to allocate their spending. It could also play a key role in the 2024 US presidential election.


From a cause-based campaign perspective, we do have some immediate opportunities, albeit restricted ones. For now, targeting is limited to geo, keyword, and interests.


Twitter was once a platform solely used to share quick status updates. Since then, it has evolved into one of the top social media platforms and sources for news distribution and consumption. For this reason, campaigns, political insiders, policy influencers, and even journalists comprise a large part of the Twitterverse, using the platform to break news prior to it making major news outlets. And so, while targeting restrictions may be limited, Twitter’s policy change does present an interesting opportunity, nonetheless.


The policy change means this: cause-based ads can now live within a powerful platform to garner attention and generate momentum with important and impressionable target audiences.


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