Twitter’s efforts to increase its user base and to encourage users to spend more time on the service are well documented and widely seen as crucial for the company as it works to extract value from the post-IPO social network.
Last week, Deutsche-Bank released a largely bullish report (PDF) recommending that investors buy Twitter stock, based on a survey of 1,100 residents of the United States.
As we reported last week, the survey showed that many people who leave Twitter were overwhelmed by the stream of information in their feeds but would consider returning if there were better filtering and curation tools. And Twitter is certainly aware of the issue, as its beta testing of Fav People on its mobile apps shows.
But I think the most interesting part of the survey for marketers is the section on how current Twitter users — there were 304 in the sample — are reacting to advertising. The reaction is mixed and a bit confused. On one hand, 40% of the respondents said they hadn’t noticed ads on Twitter. On the other, 80% of the same people said they had seen “Promoted tweets,” which are of course paid advertisements.
The authors of the study believe that this is a good sign for the effectiveness of Twitter ads: “This likely indicates that Twitter’s native ads blend well with the content in the timeline, and are largely effective in not obstructing the user behavior, which we view as a big positive.”
However, that good news was tempered but another survey result indicating that few Twitter users find the ads in their feed relevant. Nearly 50% said the ads felt random and only 17% find them relevant, as this chart shows:
The study’s authors weren’t worried about that, however: “This signals future opportunity to improve ad targeting through better tools and wider selection of advertisers. Twitter rolled out a number of enhancements to targeting capabilities including tailored audiences for advertisers in 4Q13 and we believe as more advertisers use these advanced capabilities targeting should improve over time making ads more relevant.”