Twitter improves brand safety parameters as ad revenue craters

New integrations with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science, initiated prior to Elon Musk’s takeover, allow brands to monitor the Tweets their ads run adjacent to.

The parameters are the result of work initiated by Twitter in December 2020. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

Twitter has rolled out a brand safety and suitability service that allows brands to monitor the Tweets their ads appear alongside, a move that partners say demonstrates that Twitter still cares about its advertisers.

The tool will be powered by DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science, both of whom have developed technology that scans the text of Tweets directly above and below the placement of ads in Twitter’s live feed.

Since Twitter’s feed is constantly changing and is personalized to each user, the technology tracks the content adjacent to an ad at the moment an impression is served.

The Tweets are then analyzed and labeled in accordance with the brand safety and suitability framework established by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media. 

DoubleVerify said its technology can scan both the text and images within Tweets, where IAS’ solution is limited to text. 

IAS has separately developed technology to analyze and label user-generated videos on TikTok.

The new brand safety parameters are the result of work initiated by Twitter in December 2020, prior to Elon Musk’s takeover. The blog post about plans to provide independent reporting on the context in which ads appear on Twitter was penned by Jonathan Lewis, Twitter’s former VP of product management, who left in July, according to his LinkedIn.

That said, IAS believes the continued investment in the solution proves that brand safety remains a priority among Twitter’s new management.

“As Twitter worked through the turnover and changes in staff, the priority of this integration came back pretty fast,” Craig Ziegler, SVP of product management at IAS, told Campaign US, PRWeek's sister media outlet. “Twitter ultimately wants to grow their business. They want marketers to feel comfortable continuing to invest in the platform.”

Twitter’s newly-appointed head of brand safety, A.J. Brown, said in a statement: "Twitter is committed to promoting a safe advertising experience for people and brands, and this commitment has never been stronger.”

Twitter has witnessed sharp drops in advertising revenue since Musk first began his erratic takeover of the platform last April

In November and December, Musk’s first full months as owner, ad revenue fell 55% and 71% respectively compared to a year prior, according to fresh data from Standard Media Index reported by Reuters.

Half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers were believed to have halted advertising in the weeks after Musk’s takeover, according to a report from Media Matters for America.

The platform appears to have recouped some volume. According to MediaRadar, while the number of U.S. advertisers on the platform fell 20% between the Q2 and Q3 2022 from 3,740 to 3,000 advertisers) volumes climbed back to near pre-acquisition levels in the fourth quarter at 3,700. 

The volume of new advertisers is still trailing, MediaRadar said. But it added that smaller advertisers are spending more than they have in the past, potentially due to generous incentives Twitter began offering in December.

But Musk continues to send mixed signals to the ad industry. Over the weekend, he Tweeted that ads are “too frequent and too big” on Twitter, and that the company would soon begin offering an ad-free version of the Twitter Blue subscription tier.

He also continues to reinstate polarizing accounts known for circulating misinformation, such as that of former President Donald Trump.

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