Twitter looks to calm advertiser fears with new brand safety tools

Extended partnerships with DoubleVerify and IAS will let brands and agencies know if their ad is placed around inappropriate content, as Musk mulls an ad-free subscription model.

Twitter has teamed up with ad-tech companies DoubleVerify (DV) and Integral Ad Science (IAS) to inform its advertisers if their ad is placed around inappropriate content. 

The new adtech tools will let advertisers analyse content adjacent to all types of ads, including promoted tweets.

The microblogging site said the brands running ad campaigns could use its adjacency control tools to fine-tune campaigns and filter keywords. 

Advertising accounted for 90% of Twitter’s revenue in 2021 but has dropped since Musk bought the business last October, with daily revenue reportedly falling 40% compared with last year.

Advertisers including the carmaker Audi and the drugs firm Pfizer have paused spending on Twitter amid fears of a rise in hate speech on the platform, compounded by a problematic revamp of Twitter Blue in November that led to hoaxers paying for verified status in order to launch fake corporate accounts.

Real-time data to measure ad performance 

Adtech companies Double Verify and IAS said that the tweet scanning solutions would first be available in Twitter’s home feed and then expand to profile and search elements. The companies will have access to real-time data from Twitter to measure ad performance.

The system also aims to provide suitability scores for brands to determine if their ads are shown alongside relevant tweets that match their brand image. 

“Twitter is committed to promoting a safe advertising experience for people and brands, and this commitment has never been stronger,” AJ Brown, Twitter’s brand safety chief, said in a statement.

“Validation of the context in which ads serve according to Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) industry standards is incredibly important to us and our customers.”

“A major milestone in the industry” 

DoubleVerify will process and classify Tweets directly above and below the placement of ads in Twitter’s Timeline – enabling brands to verify the content surrounding their advertising using DV’s Brand Safety Floor and Suitability Tiers. 

Mark Zagorski, CEO, DoubleVerify, said: “Providing independent, third-party suitability measurement on Twitter’s in-feed environment represents a major milestone in the industry.

“Brands will benefit from full transparency into the quality of their campaigns, greater comfort that their media buys are verified, and the ability to leverage DV’s APB and GARM aligned product functionality and reporting across Twitter, other large platforms and the open web.”

DV was the first to align product functionality with standards advanced by the 4A’s Advertising Protection Bureau (APB) and WFA’s Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).

“We are excited to offer advertisers the ability to leverage DoubleVerify’s independent measurement to verify brand safety and suitability on Twitter’s Home Timeline,” added Brown. “DV was chosen due to its industry-leading technology, depth of media quality measurement expertise, and the overall strength of our existing partnership.”

DV first partnered with Twitter in 2018 and offers fraud and viewability measurement across both display and video campaigns. 

“Tweet-level brand safety insights”

Meanwhile, the new IAS Twitter Brand Safety and Suitability Measurement tool will offer tweet-level analysis and reporting that’s aligned with GARM brand safety and suitability risk categories.

With IAS’s brand safety and suitability solution for Twitter, advertisers can access:

  • Third-party transparency into the context in which ads appear on Twitter

  • Granular reporting aligned to the GARM brand suitability and safety framework

  • Activation set up with IAS and Twitter representatives

Ad-free Twitter tier and search ad tools

The news comes as Elon Musk weighs up the idea of an ad free tier on the platform. After the paid subscription program Twitter Blue, which reduced ads by 50%, Musk is now entertaining the idea of another type of paid tier.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks.</p>&mdash; Mr. Tweet (@elonmusk) <a href="">January 21, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Musk noted that ads were coming up too frequently on the service, and were too large. “Also, there will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads,” he added.

Twitter has also introduced a new ad unit called Search Keywords Ads, which allows advertisers to pay for their tweets to appear in search results for specific keywords.

Search Keywords Ads are similar to promoted tweets but with the added benefit of appearing in search results. They can potentially be a significant revenue generator for Twitter, which the company needs.