Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Facts about Twitter emerge from its S-1 filing, AdTrap may change the face of the Internet, Facebook and Cisco collaborate on free wifi with check-ins, Instagram announces the debut of advertising, Bing will serve images from Pinterest boards, UM's Wave 7 study indicates increased global engagement, real-time media maps from bit.ly and more, it's This Week in Digital & Social.

A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.

Each week at Ford, I compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, social media, mobile, digital communications and marketing in order to keep the wider team up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in their jobs. These are those links.

If you have additional links, sources or ideas that might be helpful, I'd encourage you to add some via a comment below. And if you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links by subscribing to the This Week in Digital & Social Magazine.


The Platforms

Measurement / Metrics / Big Data

Legal / HR


  • The 12 tenets of content creation as an infographic. I'll save you a click: listen, make a list, address every question, research keywords, pay attention to titles, talk about the competition, use the "vs" format, write about "the best," be clear and concise, keep on creating, and be fearless. (MarketingProfs)
  • The Ideas Lab website is a bold experiment in brand journalism that is branded and owned by General Electric and run by Atlantic Media Strategies. (Nieman Labs)

Bookmark / Read / Watch Later

  • Eight elements to help brands forge a stronger emotional connection with consumers include such things as typography, color, motion, framing/composition and personality, among others. (FastCo Create)
  • Link shortening service Bit.ly has created a real-time media map showing the prominence of various publications by state. Select newspapers, radio/tv, magazines or online and determine which outlets get the best pickup in which markets. (Bit.ly)

  • UM has released Wave 7 of its longitudinal study, an ongoing assessment of social media on a global scale and the findings are intriguing. UM surveyed 48,945 active internet users aged 16-54 in 65 countries and developed the following insights, among others:
    • The need to be responsive and "always on" is greater than ever, with a 71% growth in Chinese microblogging platforms alone.
    • Professional social networks have grown the fastest over the last year as individuals use them for career opportunities.
    • About 70% of respondents showed concern over the amount of personal data online and 43% are supportive of brands using behavioral data for targeting purposes.


This marks three weeks straight in which we've had a commentary piece about Twitter. Given their big news around their IPO, it's not surprising. This week, Twitter made its IPO filing with the SEC and there were some valuable insights to be gained from the 200+ page S-1.

Here are some of the most relevant facts:
  • Trading symbol will be TWTR.
  • Twitter has more than 215 million average monthly users worldwide, with about 1/3 of them in the U.S.
  • About 75% of Twitter's revenue is from the U.S.
  • The company is hoping to raise $1 billion with the public offering.
  • Twitter is not yet profitable, bringing in $253.6 million in revenue in the first six months of 2013 and posting a net loss of $69.3 million over the same time period.
  • 65% of its revenue is generated from mobile advertising.
In addition to outlining its breadth and reach, unique and relevant content discovery, the ability to break news and cover live events, and capability as a distribution channel, Twitter also enumerated risks inherent to the business, including:
  • Competitive products that attract Twitter's users;
  • Influential users that flock to a competing product or service;
  • Inability to convince and convert new users;
  • Users perceive a decrease in the quality of the content;
  • Failure to innovate and improve products;
  • Inability to present content that is useful and relevant to users;
  • Users become disenchanted with the experience based on frequency, relevance and prominence of ads.
While the majority of Twitter's revenue comes from advertising, they also offer access to their stream of publicly-available data to data partners (commonly referred to as "the firehose"). Yet they make a comparatively passing mention of it and that portion of the business accounted for a mere 15% of their revenue in 2012 ($47.5 million out of $316.9 million total).

In an era when Big Data is more than just a buzzword and metrics seem to be more important than ever, I think it's odd that Twitter would continue to rely so heavily on advertising as main source of revenue. Certainly it's important, but if they make it too much a feature of the platform, they may sacrifice the very growth they're trying to simultaneously achieve - particularly when they note that growth and ad revenue are the two biggest challenges right now.

Image credit: Twitter

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