Skip to main content

Twitter kicks off marketing campaign to help you get a grip on what it is

twitter explore roll out man holding iphone 6 with on the screen
Twitter is about “what’s happening” states the company in a new marketing campaign aimed at clarifying what the social network is primarily used for.

In fact, that term “social network” may be the cause of confusion among those of us who simply cant get our heads around the platform. In its blog post announcing the elaborate digital ad campaign, Twitter claims that the people who don’t use it think of it as a place akin to Facebook, where you “find and connect with friends.” Additionally, those same people believe that to use Twitter you need to tweet every day.

Related Videos

If you’re still unsure of the difference between a tweetstorm and subtweet, Twitter isn’t offering anything by way of a tutorial. Instead, the new promotional venture recalls its iTunes App Store reinvention earlier this year — which saw Twitter change its category from “social networking” to “news” — once again framing the platform as a source of live information.

In the accompanying videos, Twitter depicts itself as a place to find out what’s going on in the world. A resulting slideshow of clips shows real-life footage from a series of major events including the NBA Finals, a Donald Trump speech, and a Black Lives Matter protest. A voiceover asks, “what’s trending?” as we are shown footage from the Broadway musical Hamilton, and Game of Thrones, emphasizing Twitter’s pop-culture factor. Clips from sporting events, which Twitter is increasingly live-streaming on its service, can also be seen in the short visual. A second ad illustrates Twitter’s political aspect, and is composed of relevant breaking news clips.

See what's happening:

— Twitter (@twitter) July 25, 2016

Portraying itself as a hub of live interactions surrounding major real-time events could work in Twitter’s favor, particularly with the approaching U.S. presidential election, and upcoming Olympics in Rio. These are exactly the types of breaking news events that millions of people will be tuning in to, and seeking additional information about. If Twitter can successfully promote the diverse range of voices, and opinions, on its platform — as it claims it will in the coming months — then the ad campaign may well turn out to be a success.

“Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now,” states Leslie Berland, chief marketing officer at Twitter. “From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics — from big events to everyday interests with all the live commentary that makes Twitter unique.”

Despite having been around for over a decade, the fact that Twitter now feels compelled to define itself is a troubling sign. The platform claims that 90 percent of the people it spoke to as part of its marketing research recognized the Twitter brand. It did not, however, reveal how many of those same people actually use its service. And stagnant user numbers are currently its biggest obstacle to growth. With its second-quarter earnings results around the corner, and investors bracing themselves for disappointment, the new ad campaign could also be a case of too little, too late.

Editors' Recommendations

Thanks to Tapbots’ Ivory app, I’m finally ready to ditch Twitter for good
Profile displayed in Ivory app

Ever since Elon Musk took ownership of Twitter, it’s been one chaotic new thing after another. You literally cannot go a day (or a few days or even a week) without some stupid new change to the site — whether it’s about checkmarks for verified or Twitter Blue subscriber accounts, how links to other social networks are banned and then reversed, view counts on Tweets, or something else. I can’t keep up with every little thing that has happened since the beginning of November, and it feels like the spotlight is always on the toxicity of the site in general.

New Twitter alternatives have been popping up recently, but it seems that the most popular one continues to be Mastodon. I originally made a Mastodon account back in 2018 when it first launched, but it never clicked with me back then, and I eventually went back to Twitter. With the Musk mess, I tried going back to Mastodon, but again, it didn’t really click with me — until Tweetbot developer, Tapbots, revealed its next project: Ivory.
The significance of Tapbots and Tweetbot

Read more
What is Reddit?
A person using Reddit on a Macbook.

If you spend a lot of time online, chances are you’ve heard of Reddit. The site once billed itself as the “front page of the internet,” and that’s not an empty boast. As of November 2022, Reddit is the fourth most visited site in the U.S., according to Semrush, and the sixth most visited worldwide. So, what exactly is Reddit? Essentially, it’s a massive collection of forums where people can share news and content or comment on other people’s posts. Here's everything you need to know.
Further reading

Best subreddits
Most popular YouTube videos

Read more
Twitter bans, then unbans account tracking Elon Musk’s jet
A digital image of Elon Musk in front of a stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating.

Hours after Twitter suspended the account that tracks the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet, the company reversed its decision and put it back online.

Twitter also suspended the account of Jack Sweeney, the person behind @elonjet, and @jxacksweeney remains out of action at the time of writing.

Read more