Twitter launches first TV ad campaign in bid to boost user numbers

More users. That’s what Twitter needs. Desperately.

Slowing growth has been causing concern at Twitter HQ for some time, but with a new CEO recently installed, investors are now expecting some concrete results. Trouble is, Q3 data released Tuesday revealed more of the same.

Determined to get the lines on the graph pointing skyward instead of near-flatlining, the San Francisco-based company is rolling out a bunch of TV ads in the U.S., a market where its user base has been hovering around the 66 million mark for much of the year.

The first of the ads, which was spotted by The Verge Tuesday night as it went out during the World Series game between the Royals and the Mets, features fans’ tweets posted during  the recent Major League Baseball playoffs, together with highlights from some of the games.

Set to the funky Best Thing Ever by French artist Jean Tonique, the fast-paced 30-second slot showcases Moments, Twitter’s recently released editor-curated feature aimed at simplifying the service for new users. However, the ad flashes by in a flurry of quickfire cuts, and consequently is likely to leave some viewers unfamiliar with Twitter asking, “What was that!?

Still, the company’s marketing crew is hoping the slots will create enough buzz to bring back lapsed users and attract new ones, while at the same time emphasizing the brand and stoking the interest of advertisers yet to utilize the service.

It’s not known how much the new campaign is costing Twitter, but seeing that it’s been created by the same team behind Apple’s iconic 1984 ad, it won’t have come cheap.

Data published by Twitter on Tuesday pointed to continued slow user growth, with the company adding just four million new users in the last three months, taking its global user base to 320 million. Investors for one will be noting the effect of the ads and evaluating whether they were worth the spend, when Twitter publishes its next set of financials in January.

Computing

Latest SMS breach could allow hackers access to your online accounts

A new security breach that exposed more than 26 million text messages could be a huge nightmare for users relying on two-factor authentication. Many of the SMS on the database contained security codes and account reset links.
Home Theater

A recent Twitter leak may show the upcoming AirPods 2 model

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.
Mobile

You can now message businesses straight through Google Maps

Google has been updating Maps with a ton of new features over the past few months, and now it's back with another one -- the ability for users to message businesses directly through the Maps app.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."