After dropping the once much ballyhooed Buy Buttons, the world has been wondering what exactly Twitter's next big idea is for monetizing its popular (but not overly profitably) social media platform.
The world got its first glance at what's next last week as Twitter started testing a swipeable ad unit, called the Tweet Carousel, that gives retailers and brands a shot at advertising a series of goods and services all under the auspices of a single ad.
The format is designed to give advertisers the option of corralling several promoted tweets together into a single unit that a user can easily swipe through to peruse. What is on offer in those tweet packages can vary, as text, images or videos are all options.
Most interesting, however, is that the Tweet Carousel isn't just for content created directly by the brand or retailer themselves. The carousel also gives brands the option of slotting in user created content of the type that tends to flow from social media influencers like popular bloggers or well-known YouTube stars.
“Advertisers have told us that creating compelling, engaging content can be both expensive and time-consuming,” wrote Andrew Bragdon, Twitter’s revenue product manager, in a blog post. “We also know that driving word-of-mouth marketing is critical as marketers want to develop an authentic relationship with customers. Since people tweet about their favorite brands and products every day, we developed this powerful solution to help marketers leverage social recommendations.”