new york times
Twitter is going public soon, so it’s worth knowing how the micro-blogging site makes money.
It is an advertising-based business. Twitter also sells data. It will generate about $583 million this year. Twitter is expected to generate a little less than $1 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer.
Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from three types of ads, although it plans to have a more robust advertising offering next year.
The New York Times’ Vindu Goel gives a good rundown of those three money-making ad products:
- Promoted tweets: Advertisers pay to have brief messages show up in users’ stream of Twitter messages. They can use keyword targeting to reach specific users. Advertisers can also use a little bit of demographic targeting, although Twitter doesn’t know as much about its users as Facebook does. Twitter gets paid when users engage with the promoted tweets (when they favorite, comment on, or retweet the ad).
- Promoted trends: Twitter lists which topics are being talked about most on its platform. The trends vary by location, so Twitter’s list of topics in the US might not be the same as the list in England, for example. Advertisers can pay to have a topic of their choice listed too. A promoted trend costs roughly $200,000 for a day of exposure on all US Twitt! er accou nts, the New York Times reports.
- Promoted accounts: If a brand wants more Twitter followers, it can pay to have its account recommended to Twitter users.
Want to know how you’re being sold to marketers?
Acxiom, one of the largest brokerages of personal marketing data, just released Aboutthedata.com, which allows you to view all the information it has stored about you in its marketing databases.
Acxiom has information on 700 million consumers worldwide, with some 1,500 data points per person.
The site allows you to see which details dictate the targeted ads that you see every day — whether they’re creepily accurate or way off-base. Your data profile will include biographical facts (like education level or number of children), homeownership status (including mortgage amount and property size), vehicle details, economic information, shopping categories, and even interests, with an option to learn how each element was sourced.
Aboutthedata.com also gives you the option to modify or delete information that’s false. So if, for example, you’re a single vegan occasionally blasted with deals for family hunting trips, you can fix the database once and for all.
Acxiom, with $1.1 billion in revenue in its 2013 fiscal year, told The New York Times that it created the site to make industry p! ractices more transparent. Still feeling uncomfortable about having so much data mined? You can opt-out of the collection process, but not without this first seeing this warning from the company:
As we strongly suspected earlier, the hackers that briefly took over the Twitter and New York Times domains yesterday didn’t use brute force or fancy hacks to get in. The LATimes reports that the Syrian Electronic Army used phishing emails to get username and password credentials for several employees Melbourne IT, the registrar for both NYTimes.com and Twitter.com. Be careful what emails you click!
A group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army was able to take down the New York Times on Tuesday by hacking into a web site in Australia, The New York Times said in a statement.
Apparently, the group gained control of the Times’ domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. A domain name registrar is a site that sells domain names and controls a domain name server (DNS). DNS is the server that sends you to a web page when you type a URL address into your browser, such as nytimes.com.
By hacking into the DNS server, the group could redirect the traffic going to nytimes.com. The Syrian Electronic Army also said it hacked Twitter. Twitter reportedly also uses Melbourne IT.
Moral of the story: When it comes to the Internet, it’s a small world
The SEA claims to be loyal to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, in the civil war going on in the country. The SEA has previously attacked the BBC, National Public Radio, Human Rights Watch, The Onion and the Financial Times.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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