Twitter partners with Amex to launch self-serve ad platform

twitter and amexTwitter’s path to profitability has been a notorious one. And considering how tightly woven it is into our digital lives, it’s been rather slow to generate real revenue. Its first attempts at marketing models, however, have been relatively successful for the company. But now Twitter is ready to step into the big leagues with a self-serve advertising platform.

The new application is part of a partnership with American Express, and early adopters will get a special deal. “American Express Card members and merchants will be given exclusive first access to Twitter’s new advertising solution for small business,” an announcement from an Amex rep says. “Amex will give $100 in free Twitter ads to the first 10,000 eligible businesses that register at” Spaces weren’t filled as of press time. 

So for the time being, those first-comers will get to be the guinea pigs for Twitter’s latest monetization platform, although it should open to the public in the near future. Amex VP and Social Media Communications exec Brad Minor tells us that now small business will also be able to purchase Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts via a self-serve mechanism and these will begin appearing in the next few months (obviously they already appear on the site, but now the capability has been opened to more business owners).

Amex tells us that this is part of “a long line in digital initiatives which include work with the likes of Facebook and Foursquare.” Not surprising: Amex has been on top of integrating with social networking applications to promote its brand. These partnerships have been primarily rewards-based, so we’re interested to see if this means Facebook and Foursquare will also introduce some sort of initiative for using self-serve ads. Facebook obviously already has its own advertising model, but maybe it’s thinking about driving some more interest there, or perhaps it has something to do with Timeline for brands.

Of course, the immediate concern whenever a popular site starts talking about advertising is how much will the user experience be sacrificed. It’s a legitimate concern, but one that we think applies more to applications that are more interactive – clicking around, uploading, commenting, playing games. Sites like Facebook and Foursquare, in other words. We don’t really see Twitter’s design and function being terribly compromised: it’s already a fairly busy space, and “Who to follow” and its promoted content have been integrated rather smoothly, and the new self-serve mechanism is really only going to affect how many people have access to this feature and how they go about using it. It actually might be a win-win, provided the advertising is effective for those using it. 

Social Media

Twitter sorry for mistakenly storing and sharing some users’ location data

Twitter has revealed that a bug led to it accidentally storing and sharing location data for a number of iOS users. The issue, which has now been fixed, affected those operating more than one Twitter account from the app.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your pics and data off the 'gram and saved elsewhere, but now you can download Instagram photos with just a few clicks.

Photographer sues Ariana Grande after she posts his images of her on Instagram

A professional photographer is suing Ariana Grande after she posted photos on Instagram that he'd taken of her. Grande used the post to promote one of her albums, but the photographer says she used the photos without permission.
Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

The worst day ever. We say farewell and offer a fond remembrance for Grumpy Cat, the internet's most famous frowning feline, meme and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Exceptionally even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.

Treat yo' selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Social Media

Twitter co-founder Ev Williams still wants to save the world

Social media is evil, leading to a mental health crisis in Gen Z and a rise in hate speech. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, says Ev Williams, the co-founder of Twitter. But weaning ourselves off today's social media won't be…