Twitter unveils hashtag pages to keep courting big advertisers

twitter nascar pageOver the weekend, Twitter went all mainstream on us and aired its first TV commercial during the Pocono 400, advertising its #Nascar page. Twitter isn’t the first social network to take to the small screen; Google launched a pretty difficult-to-ignore campaign promoting Google+ last year. But Twitter’s focus isn’t to convert users (although that’s clearly a side bonus), it’s to convert advertisers. 

The effort also revealed new hashtag pages, the first of them being the dedicated Twitter Nascar site. These look like Twitter’s version of Facebook Fan Pages and are supposed to inject a little bit of professionalism into an advertising model that for all of its apparent success still inspires skepticism. 

The hashtag landing pages, as Twitter put it, will surface “the most interesting Tweets” using “a combination of algorithms and curation.” They also have a little extra polish over how searching hashtagged content used to look. It’s clear that the idea is to show marketers that this foreign application isn’t so strange and scary and totally user-controlled. 

Twitter has made much ado about its advertising reach, but large-scale campaigns have still been generally absent. The self-serve ad platform is inherently an attractive option for smaller businesses, even for all its shortcomings and confusion. 

This is just the next step in Twitter’s attempts to take the site to the next level while riding the line between happy users and happy advertisers. Video and photo integration has gotten much tighter, promoted ads and accounts have become prevalent, and now landing pages have made their debut. 

Don’t be too fast to draw conclusions about the mobile ads announcement Twitter made last week and this weekend’s hashtag page announcement. This most recent new feature is essentially a Web-facing one. But one thing is certain: Twitter is pushing its evolution full steam ahead, and it’s not stopping until the advertisers — the big advertisers — are there. The real question is whether Twitter can pull that off without isolating users and while also making upgrades that keep them happy. 

Product Review

Anybody seen my grenades? ‘Battlefield V’ shows up late and unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Land Rover shows its artsy side by previewing the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover made life-sized wire sculptures to preview the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The all-new SUV will make its debut during a private event held in London on November 22, and deliveries will begin in 2019.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
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.

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.

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.

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."