Twitter has finally crossed the rubicon and will allow advertisers to target ads to you based on the words that you tweet. specifically, the feature is called ‘keyword targeting in timelines‘, and its available today in 15 languages and all markets.
Twitter previously used the content of tweets to fill out its interest graph for advertisers, but this update brings laser targeting based on the topics that you tweet about to the product. Twitter uses the example of a person who tweets about enjoying an album from a band. A local venue could use a combination of Twitter’s location-based targets along with a keyword tuned to that band to pop an ad with a link to buy tickets to that band into the user’s timeline as a Promoted Tweet.
Twitter stresses that they’re not showing more ads in anyone’s timeline, they’re just going to be showing better targeted ones. And users will still be able to voice their disinterest by dismissing un-relevant Promoted Tweets. The ad targeting is also “based on the keywords in their recent Tweets and the Tweets with which users recently engaged.” That engagement could come in the form of retweets, favorites and other actions.
Twitter says that tests run with companies like Microsoft and Walgreens, they saw a jump in interactions with ads based on keyword targeting vs. other kinds of targeting.
Here’s what the new panel will look like for advertisers:
Anyone who has been following Twitter’s ad products over the past few months has just been waiting for this to become a thing. Targeting based on location and platform used was one thing, and the nebulous ‘signals’ that Twitter was using to target Promoted Tweets and such were already getting positive results. But specific word targeting is the holy grail of advertising, allowing brands and companies to tightly focus campaigns on those with very specific interests and along a very important vector: time.
When an ad is delivered is in many ways just as important as how it’s delivered and to whom. If you were just tweeting that you’re hungry for a burger, then see an ad for McDonalds, that’s much more effective than if you saw one hours later or hours before.
Here’s another example from TBG, an agency that allows business to create campaigns for networks like Facebook and Twitter:
The panel is from One Media Manager, which its designed to streamline the campaign creation process using keywords. It allows advertisers to create bundles of keywords that they can use to target ads.
This kind of targeting is offered outside of Twitter in other products of course, but Twitter’s super-real-time nature could offer a distinct advantage in keyword targeting effectiveness. Depending on how timely Twitter is in delivering ads to the timeline, this seems like it could have a huge impact in how likely people are to notice and act on ads. If there’s too much delay, that effectiveness could be blunted.
As a user, it’s unlikely that you’ll be seeing any difference in the volume or type of ads that you’ll see, but they might start to get freakishly accurate. Don’t be surprised if you tweet about a restaurant or type of cheese and see an ad pop up for those in your timeline a few minutes later.
Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images
See the rest here: Twitter now allows advertisers to target specific words used in tweets
Jolla, the Finnish startup comprised of ex-Nokians who left to keep the MeeGo fire burning, has confirmed it will be showing off its first handset next month, and kicking off a “pre-sales” campaign to allow fans to register to buy the phone. Although Jolla has demoed its Sailfish UI in some detail before, it has generally been tight-lipped about its plans for the device’s hardware design — so next month will mean another big reveal.
Jolla had previously pegged the second half of this year for its debut device launch. Today it has confirmed to TechCrunch that this launch timeframe is not changing, despite its intention to show the phone next month. It provided the following emailed statement confirming the pre-sales campaign and noting that the shipping timeframe remains the same:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made headlines today on the announcement of his new technology lobby, FWD.us, that he formed with his powerful Silicon Valley friends. But, behind the starstruck stories of DC’s new power players, it should be noted that the technology industry already has a litany of lobbies, comprised of the same board members as FWD.us, who have been active in politics for years. Before everyone gets carried away, it’s worth understanding what tech money has gotten Silicon Valley already and what FWD.us will need to do to distinguish itself.
The technology industry is handsomely represented in the halls of Congress. According to OpenSecrets, the industry’s lobbying coffers shoveled out $202 million in 2012, almost twice as much as in 2004 ($105M). Facebook even has its own Political Action Committee to fund specific candidates. And, to be sure, most major tech corporations have swanky DC diggs, where they throw elaborate champagne parties on rooftop decks (I have enjoyed their expensive appetizers many times).
In addition in-house teams, there are a number of similar independent lobby groups, including the Internet Association, Engine Advocacy, TechNet, The Consumer Electronics Association, and The Silicon Valley Leadership Group–to name a few. Yahoo CEO Marrissa Mayer, a member of Zuckberg’s FWD.us, also sits on the board of Technet.
Like the tech companies themselves, the varying lobbies disagree on thorny issues such as the Internet sales tax, which pits pro-taxation eBay against its digital rival, Amazon. But, there’s far more agreement than disagreement, especially on immigration reform.
FWD.us’s topic du jour is high-skilled immigration reform, which the entirety of the tech industry has been pushing for, for decades. As Zuckerberg echoed in his Washington Post OpEd, “To lead the world in this new economy, our workforce needs the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best.”
Yet, despite a full court press by the most of the industry, and (an arguably more powerful) ally in New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, proponents of high-skilled immigration reform have yet to be successful. Last Winter, a bill, which aimed to expand high-skilled visas to more foreign-born science and engineering graduates of American universities, died largely because all the money in the world couldn’t get Democrats and Republicans to agree.
We held a debate between high-skilled immigration reform expert, Vivek Wadhwa and Congressman Gutierrez, for those readers who want to learn more about the disagreement over whether to prioritize high-skilled immigrants over their low-skilled counterparts.
Principled differences aside, the Latino-American population is now powerful enough to swing Presidential elections, so politicians want to take their concerns seriously (which President Obama pretty much admitted, in recorded off-the-record remarks).
As a result, this year, the 85,000 visa quota for high-skilled immigrants was maxed out in just 5 days. Evidently, tech, and its DC money, has limits.
Despite what may seem like a unified front, the 30 all-stars have their own agenda. Most FWD.us members, like Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, are reliable Obama backers. According to OpenSecrets, the communications and electronics industry gave nearly twice as much to Democrats ($93M) as they did to Republicans ($55) in 2012.
As we’ve written about before, technologists’ aversion to conservatives is largely principled, and no amount of money or peer-pressure will convince them to back Republicans.
Other board members simply have their hands’ full with their own issues. Zynga’s CEO, Mark Pincus, will likely be lobbying for online gambling and can’t expend too much political capital on anything else.
The bright folks at FWD.us are no tourists of the political landscape. But, to distinguish themselves, they’ll need at least one of a few proof-points
FWD.us could be a power player. But, the mere presence of fancy board members hasn’t proved they’re anything unique yet. We’ll keep you posted.
There’s a new handy little device for people who like to drink but want to be safe about it. The Breathometer, which is currently for sale through a campaign on Indiegogo, was built to use the processing power of your mobile phone to provide an affordable way to allow users to check their blood alcohol content. And I got to take it for a spin.
Breathometer founder Charles Michael Yim said that he had tried a few different consumer breathalyzers and found none of them were all that convenient. They were too bulky, too expensive, and cumbersome in terms of having to calibrate them. Most people are probably not aware of the availability of consumer breathalyzers, and so Yim and his team decided to make a device that was more affordable and accessible for the average consumer.
The Breathometer is available as part of an Indiegogo campaign that the company is running now through April 13. It’s structured in a way that how soon you’ll receive a device depends on how much you contribute. So someone who contributes $100 will be part of the company’s first drop-shipment of the device in July, whereas someone who puts in just $20 shouldn’t expect the device before early next year.
I had a few drinks ahead of the interview, to try the thing out for myself, and, well, for science. What I found was that the Breathometer was accurate in establishing that Yim was stone-cold sober, while I blew a 0.04. And while that means I was probably ok to drive, maybe I shouldn’t have been conducting a video interview under the influence. Whew. Check out the full video above!
Editor’s note: Danae Ringelmann is a co-founder of Indiegogo. Prior to that, she was a securities analyst at Cowen & Co. where she covered entertainment companies, including Pixar, Lionsgate, Disney and Electronic Arts. Follow her on Twitter @gogoDanae.
Happy Anniversary! One year ago, U.S. lawmakers joined together with overwhelming bipartisan support to pass the JOBS Act. It was an exciting moment in history — one that my co-founders and I at Indiegogo didn’t expect to see for many years, especially not within just five years of launching our perks-based crowdfunding platform in 2008.
While the Securities and Exchange Commission’s rule-setting period has taken a bit longer than originally hoped and thus equity crowdfunding is taking longer to introduce than the Act anticipated, we’re quite pleased that the SEC is taking the process seriously.
Striking a balance between the need for regulation and the danger of over-regulation is tricky. Too little regulation could lead to risky behavior — while too much regulation could stifle innovation and competition, and actually block the very economic activity equity crowdfunding is poised to create.
Crowdfunding rose into the mainstream long before the JOBS Act was passed. Since the launch of our perks-based approach to crowdfunding over five years ago – where entrepreneurs, artists and causes raise money in support of their dreams online by offering perks to funders — hundreds of other platforms have followed suit across the world.
When equity crowdfunding is introduced and allows funders actually to own a piece of the new businesses, pro-JOBS Act platforms like perk-based incumbents Indiegogo and Rockethub, or new equity-only players like Crowdfunder, will need to innovate by developing and testing new procedures that are safe, robust and customer-driven. As this is the first time equity crowdfunding will be possible in the Internet age, platforms need the opportunity to experiment, learn and build what customers actually need and want — rather than what regulators might think customers could want. Too much regulation could simply stifle the innovation required to make equity crowdfunding work.
Too much regulation could also reduce competition and lock out smaller equity crowdfunding platforms from launching, as burdensome regulation would make it expensive to get off the ground. Ironically, this would benefit well-resourced incumbents like us. But this is not what we would want.
For Indiegogo, we have a healthy and growing perks-based business and do not need equity crowdfunding to happen. That said we’d be disappointed if equity crowdfunding never has the chance to realize its innovation potential. The concept of equity crowdfunding is 100 percent in-line with our mission to make finance efficient and fair — removing gatekeepers from interfering with making dreams come true. We’ve innovated and developed an algorithm-driven platform in order to deliver a gatekeeper-free experience on our trusted perks platform. It would be disappointing — for example – if regulation somehow required us to put the gatekeeper back into the process, thus stifling our innovation and ability to make finance efficient and fair.
We’d also be disappointed if the regulation killed our competition, leaving us the sole player. As an equal opportunity platform, we’d defy our entire reason for being by hoping for a competition-free world.
Indiegogo pioneered crowdfunding as a way for people to fund what matters to them — whatever that might be. We don’t curate. We don’t judge. There are no gatekeepers on Indiegogo. We believe every idea (as long as it’s legal) deserves the right to connect with its audience and see if its audience is willing to fund it.
As a result of our inclusive approach, unique ideas — creative, cause and entrepreneurial — are coming to life through crowdfunding on Indiegogo as I write. They include the Breathometer that turns a smartphone into a breathalyzer, the athletic bag company Activyst that supports girls sports programs across the world, and the band Avasa & Matty, a husband-wife duo working on their next album. Even the world’s first baby was crowdfunded last year. (The campaign helped a family pay for in-vitro fertilization). These ideas are not alone. Every week, Indiegogo distributes millions of dollars in four currencies to campaigns in every country.
Given we aren’t in the business of curation, we want to empower as many people around the world as possible. Nothing proves this better than the fact that we not only allowed, but often recognized that we had another crowdfunding platform use Indiegogo to raise money to launch.
So if the rules were up to us, given our inclusive approach and equal-opportunity philosophy, we would opt for a more open environment where platforms could innovate and compete freely to prove themselves superior, even if that meant more competition for us.
At Indiegogo, we’re excited to see the SEC release the rules. However, even without equity crowdfunding, new businesses have continued to thrive on Indiegogo. In the last year since the JOBS Act passed, more than 15,000 entrepreneurial campaigns raised money on Indiegogo in the U.S. alone.
Businesses like the first package-free grocery store In.gredients raised $15,000 to open its doors. Due to the market validation from crowdfunding, now traditional financiers are calling the team to ask how they can help the business expand. Innovative products like the 1:Face Watch, raised more than $357,000 to bring their watch to market, while giving people the opportunity to support the cause of their choice. Due to the risk-mitigation benefits of crowdfunding, the team didn’t face the risk of overproduction or underproduction.
Shareconomy ventures like the mobile canning service for craft brewers The Can Van also benefitted by garnering publicity they never could have imagined through their campaign. Due to social media integration, crowdfunding helped this team turn supporters into grassroots marketers overnight.
These job-creating endeavors and their entrepreneurial neighbors on Indiegogo received money from more than 200,000 people across all 50 states who voted with their dollars to bring these ideas to life. This clearly demonstrates how crowdfunding provides a catalyst not just for funding, but for traction, awareness and market validation as well. I wonder what the numbers would be when equity is part of the picture — when the JOBS Act turns two. Exciting times are ahead. History in the making.
Originally posted here: Crowdfunding Industry Celebrates First Anniversary of JOBS Act Despite Delays