Today’s Burning Question: Twitter to Launch Its Own Ad Exchange?


ADOTAS — Today we asked our esteemed panel of industry leaders to the following Burning Question: “Reports indicate that Twitter will soon launch its own ad exchange to rival Facebook’s. What’s your opinion on the move?”

Here are their responses:

“Increasingly Twitter is becoming a larger part of the conversation with marketers. Enabling programmatic demand to access Twitter’s audiences is certainly something that can be beneficial to marketers. As a company who is already integrated with all the major ad exchanges, and having recently launched our own (MARKETPLACE by ADTECH), we believe that access to exclusive supply sources at scale, similar to what is happening with FBX, will prove attractive.” — David Jacobs, Senior Vice President, AOL Networks.


“This would be a great move by Twitter and another huge opportunity for data-driven marketers. The real-time bidding piece and the efficiency benefits marketers get from bidding algorithms are great, but the big boost from a Twitter Exchange would come from leveraging all that great first party brand data. Twitter is the real-time pulse of the planet.  If it can match that with advertising that functions as the real-time pulse of consumer intent this will be very interesting indeed!” — Brad Flora, CEO and co-founder, Perfect Audience.

“Twitter’s ad exchange will quickly challenge Facebook’s because the type of information that is shared on Twitter is better suited to ads than Facebook is. This will allow brands to create meaningful, real-time, contextually-relevant messages.” — Josip Marsan, Experience Strategist at Vivaldi Fifth Season.

“We believe Twitter’s ad exchange will prove to be a smart approach to monetizing the social platform. In theory, it allows for small, local businesses to buy sponsored tweets the same way that household brands would. The key to finding success in this model will lie in the level of support Twitter provides in crafting and promoting 140-character brand tweets. That’s where the smaller ‘underdog’ brands could potentially lose and the bigger brands will demand — and receive — greater support.” — Frances Lisner, Head of Advertising Operations, ParentSociety.

“This is great news for the marketing world! We all know that social media has tremendous potential in attracting and engaging large user communities. What is great about this strategy is that user information is automatically sent by clicking a button, rather than users having to fill out forms themselves. It is also better than just a ‘Like’ because it gives marketers some specific data, e.g., an email address. This makes it a very interesting tool for lead generation.” — Frans Van Hulle, CEO of ReviMedia.

“This makes a lot of sense. The real-time nature of Twitter and the level of engagement of its audience makes it a perfect place to buy precise audiences programmatically, on a real-time basis, for timely and relevant targeting. Like Facebook, Twitter may be a very effective channel at reaching a very large audience that is hard to find elsewhere on the Internet. A word of caution though; since programmatic buying tends to attract direct response marketers focused on driving traffic to their online sales channels, Twitter will have to carefully close its measurement gap to prove its ability to influence consumers earlier in their decision journey. In addition, tying Twitter mobile advertising to desktop and offline sales will be paramount to the rapid adoption and long-term success of their RTB platform.” — Pascal Bensoussan, chief strategy officer, Aggregate Knowledge.

“One thing that Twitter will have to do is clearly explain how their exchange will be more effective, transparent and brand safe.  The embarrassing incidents this past week of major brands appearing next to non-brand-safe content on Facebook has reinforced the need for multiple tools to be put in place to ensure that campaigns are being delivered as expected.” — Justin Kennedy, COO, Sonobi Media.

“We believe that Twitter will launch an ad exchange to compete against Facebook/FBX. One of the interesting things to see will be if Twitter ‘leads’ with mobile first, vs. Facebook which adds mobile ‘second.’ FBX today still doesn’t have mobile inventory. Twitter can position themselves as a leader in the mobile space by featuring mobile in their exchange from the launch. There aren’t many ‘native’ mobile opportunities today and Twitter can bring this to the party.” — Howie Schwartz, CEO and Founder of Human Demand.

“If true, this is a smart play by Twitter. Enabling advertisers to bring their own data to the Twitter party should enable great results just like FBX. What will be interesting to watch is which sort of ad formats they allow. I’d love to see them push the envelope and test out new ways to drive engagement.” — James Walker, CEO and Founder, inadco.

“In short I think Twitter entering the exchange world is a wise idea. It should open up a new revenue stream for them and give more marketers a chance to participate in their platform. However, I don’t think modeling it exactly after Facebook’s retargeting based model is the right direction for them. The issue is mobile. According to Twitter’s own research, 60% of their monthly use is mobile, not desktop based. Lack of cookies from desktop visits would hamper the scale of a traditional retargeting model. Advertisers looking for scale would have trouble finding it in a Twitter retargeting exchange. Hopefully they’ll use a more diverse data model to help fuel the targeting in their marketplace.” — Joe Germscheid, Director of Consumer Engagement, Senior Partner, Carmichael Lynch

“This is yet another opportunity for advertisers to reach their target audience outside of the traditional display networks. Of course it also means learning a brand new product and dealing with more proprietary ad formats, so most likely there will need to be a lot of impressive early case studies before we will see any significant brand budgets being transferred. For now I would expect most of the advertisers will be direct response marketers using it for retargeting.” — Marc Poirier, Co-Founder & EVP, Business Development, Acquisio.

“I think Twitter is making the right move by launching an ad exchange. Allowing brands to target ads directly to users who have previously visited their site is very inciting, given the social reach of Twitter. Beyond that, it positions Twitter as a much stronger player (from a revenue generating stand point) if and when they seek their IPO.” — Ian Smith, Director, Engagement and Digital Marketing at mOcean.

“We see higher conversion rate on Twitter than Facebook for direct deals, so we’d be excited about a TWX!” — Jesse Lawrence, CEO/Founder of



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