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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Twitter Provides More Assurance on Ad Placement via Third Party Verification

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Yeah, given the surrounding context right now, I’m not sure that this is going to work out in Twitter’s favor.

Today, Twitter has announced that its updated partnerships with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science are now active, which will see both platforms provide third-party brand safety and suitability measurement for Twitter ad campaigns in the US.

As explained by Twitter:

“Our brand safety measurement solutions with industry leaders DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science are now generally available to advertising customers based in the US. These services monitor and quantify the prevalence of ad placement adjacent to English-language content deemed either unsafe or unsuitable for monetization by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) in Twitter’s Home Timeline.”

Which is good, and pretty much industry standard by now. But for Twitter, which has been reinstating a steady stream of formerly banned users, it could, potentially be problematic in some respects. 

Take, for example, the reinstatement of neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, who was originally banned from the app in 2021 for making antisemitic remarks in his tweets. Fuentes, who was allowed back on the app just this week, as part of Elon Musk’s ‘amnesty’ for banned users, was active on Twitter for less than a day, before being banned once again for pretty much exactly the same thing as last time.

Not sure that his tweets would have passed the GARM standards.

Various reports have suggested that other reinstated accounts, of which there are more than 60,000 returning, have also gone right back to tweeting exactly the same type of content that they were originally banned for, while hate speech, in general, has been on the rise in the app.

Within this, providing advertisers with more insight into the placement of their ads alongside such content might not work out the best for Twitter’s ad business.

Though according to Twitter, it’s all good:

“We’ve run successful beta tests with both DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science over the last several months. Through custom-built solutions for Twitter’s feed environment, these tests have shown that more than 99% of measured impressions appeared adjacent to content that was deemed safe in accordance with the GARM brand safety floor criteria.”

So no problem, at least in testing. Of course, that was before these suspended profiles were brought back, but should be fine.

Twitter also notes that it’s looking to expand these measurement capabilities to additional markets and languages, which will provide more transparency and assurance for more ad partners.

And Twitter definitely needs to keep its ad partners on-side. Reports suggest that the platform saw a 40% year-over-year decline in ad revenue in Q4 2022. If these new transparency measures show an increase in potentially harmful ad placement, that could further impact Twitter’s bottom line – and it’s got a very small margin for error in the current circumstance.

But again, this is now industry standard, and Twitter should be providing third-party verification of this type on its ad systems.

It’s just, maybe, not the best timing, given the surrounding changes at the app.

Twitter ad partners looking to utilize these new brand safety measurement solutions can work directly with DoubleVerify or Integral Ad Science, or contact their Twitter sales representative. 



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