Twitter explores ways of making money--even from logged out users


According to the earning call transcripts of Twitter’s leading executives, the microblogging site is looking beyond its core users and exploring ways of monetising the much greater number of logged-out and unregistered visitors.

In a third quarter earnings call transcript, published in Seeking Alpha, CEO Dick Costolo described Twitter's audience as "a series of geometrically concentric circles", with the 284 million monthly active users at the centre. Twitter does not give country-specific figures but research firm eMarketer says India will have 18.1 million people tweeting by the end of 2014.


Beyond that was the logged out audience on Twitter-owned and operated properties, which amounted to perhaps twice as many users again, while the third circle consisted of those people reached in syndication via embedded tweets and timelines.

He was confident that the second circle of logged out users, who typically arrived at individual tweets or user profile pages via search or had been directed to the home page via embedded tweets, was capable of being monetised.

"We know what their interest is and that's a key element of being able to target the advertising for them," he said, adding that this was a focus for the advertising team.

CFO Anthony Noto added that a lot of development work had been directed towards profile pages, resulting in an increase in traffic during the past quarter. He reported an 83% increase in the number of profile impressions, a 77% increase in profile scrolls of the tweets on that profile page, a more than 500% increase in media timeline impressions, a more than 200% increase in media timeline scrolls, an 11% increase in re-tweets on profiles and a 15% increase on favourites on profiles.

"This just starts to highlight how we're scratching the surface on giving these individuals unique content that meets their specific need," he said, "and we'll continue to experiment with the user base to capture the opportunity."

As well as improving the user experience, Noto also stressed Twitter's efforts to improve advertiser ROI with a range of new products, from promoted video ads to an enhanced SMB platform.

"These specific formats allow advertisers to pick the specific marketing tactic or initiative they want and which best suits their needs," he said, and that in turn led to better ROI.

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