Twitter and Facebook to Battle for Second Screen Ad Dollars

Twitter is targeting second screens with a strategy that focuses on the intersection of video and data. The company has reportedly been meeting with agencies and brands this year, including several meetings held during CES, to showcase its ad product road map. Those who met with Twitter signed non-disclosure agreements and could not discuss upcoming products, but the strategy is believed to be bullish on video and data, and a counter to Facebook’s recent push into video.

Twitter spent much of 2013 promoting its symbiotic relationship with television, which has helped brands recognize a new value in the social platform.

“Twitter has been promoting its ability to harness data and insights from conversations surrounding specific TV shows and then allows brands to reach those viewers,” reports Adweek. “And last year, Twitter bought the social TV analytics firm Bluefin Labs to bolster such TV targeting capabilities.”

“Twitter spend will increase this year for a number of reasons, one being their embrace of television,” said David Rittenhouse, Neo@Ogilvy’s managing director, adding that television’s relationship with Twitter will evolve beyond the adoption of hashtags.

“If I’m sponsoring [ESPN’s] College GameDay, I can actually take my offline [ad copy], upload it into Twitter and serve it to people after they watched the show,” said another source, suggesting that some advertisers (especially tech brands) plan to spend much more this year on Twitter. “Advertisers are obsessed with it because they’re able to increase awareness. It’s an extension of their TV buying, and they’re [quintupling] Twitter budgets for it.”

“These are ad dollars that could be going to Facebook, this source said. Indeed, there is a debate in the ad industry about which platform is better for such TV-esque advertising,” notes the article. “As Twitter pushes TV this year, Facebook is rolling out its broad autoplay video ad product. The question is, which platform can target more effectively and which one truly is the second screen — the one viewers scroll through mid-commercial break or after the show.”

According to eMarketer, spending on online video ads will increase by 40 percent this year, and digital video ads will generate $5.75 billion.