Twitter launched a new Ads Application Programming Interface (API) in February, which makes it easy for advertisers to run their promoted tweets. Media ad buyers welcomed that move with open arms because it used to be relatively difficult to buy ads on Twitter.
It is not that Twitter did not have an ads API before. The problem was that the one they used was so clunky that large sophisticated advertisers found it challenging to use different variables to purchase several targeted campaigns.
The process of buying ads on the old API was so laborious that it put off many marketers. It would take hours to run a set of campaigns and then compare the results on Twitter, leading to loss of precious time. Here is an example to demonstrate what advertisers had to put up with.
Let us assume that a marketer wanted to run promoted tweets meant for people who tweet about basketball. The advertiser would be forced to start each new campaign with updated variables by typing the word “basketball.” There was no way of saving a template for the basketball campaign and simply copying it when creating new campaigns.
Perhaps you may think that we are harping about an insignificant issue. However, its weight becomes clear when you consider a large company running multiple campaigns for its numerous brands using even more than 50 keyword targets.
In such a case, those involved in creating the campaigns would be forced to type all the keywords by hand for each new campaign for all the multiple brands. This laborious process can easily add up to 15 hours to the process of creating any campaign. Yet the problem did not end there.
It also required too much time to start, pause or stop campaigns because each campaign had to be dealt with individually. In addition, marketers were frustrated by the process of retrieving results. They would have to download the individual campaign results in CSV files that they had to open in a spreadsheet. The results were not visually intuitive because they lacked charts, lines and other graphics associated with modern campaign dashboards.
Another complication involved the targeting variables, which were too thin. Advertisers could target users based on their gender, device type and perceived interests depending on the accounts they follow and the words they use in their own tweets.
The way gender was targeted was inaccurate because it only used the names of account holders. The problem is that many names are commonly shared between both genders. Demographic targeting was almost non-existent.
Advertisers hope that the new ads API will solve some of these problems.