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Advertisers to Zuck: Take Our Money, Put Ads On Threads
High-performing ads on Facebook and Instagram have marketers ready to throw cash at Threads. How long can Meta wait?
Meta hasn’t opened Threads to ads yet, but it might not be able to resist for long. Advertisers are eager to spend serious money there and are already planning for the eventuality, with a good number expecting the opportunity to arrive later this year.
The Twitter clone has everything ad buyers look for in a partner: A large audience, public interest, and potential access to Meta’s industry-leading advertising tools. And as soon as Mark Zuckerberg welcomes them, they won’t waste a minute.
"We're going to start immediately for our clients, as soon as advertisements are available on Threads,” said Ahmet Yavuz, CEO of digital marketing firm ASY Digital. “Everything is ready from our side.”
For Yavuz and his counterparts, there’s serious appeal in having another ad-supported app inside Meta’s ad manager. And that could be trouble for Twitter. Meta’s ad platform centralizes buying across its properties — including Instagram and Facebook — and is extremely effective, using advanced targeting and optimization to deliver better performance than other digital media outlets, with the possible exception of Google. Once Meta adds a check box to extend ads to Threads, ad buyers will check it.
“It’s the number one platform for pretty much all the brands we work for,” said Carly London, the founder of growth marketing agency Sometimes Curly, of Meta. “If we're able to use the power of that advertising, to expand to a Twitter-like audience, that can be huge.”
Among the nearly all marketers we spoke with, the prevailing sentiment was overwhelming trust in Meta’s ad platform. “I'd for sure start to test immediately because it's Meta. Generally trust them in every placement they have,” said David Herrmann, CEO of ad agency Herrmann Digital.
“They're always making updates to improve targeting and placements and ad optimization," said Carl Bivona sr. director of social media at Ignite Visibility.
“They already have better ad technology from a marketer's perspective than Twitter. Facebook’s ads, technology, and interfaces are much better than Twitter's,” said Trevor Dudeck, CEO of ad agency Lemonade.
“We’ll be ready to jump in as soon as Meta rolls out advertising on Threads,” said Josh Keller, CEO of Union Square Media. “We are communicating with them currently about the launch.”
The enthusiasm from advertisers has little to do with content moderation or the culture war. None of the marketers we spoke with brought up Elon Musk’s or Zuckerberg’s politics, just as few marketers slowed their spending amid Meta’s various scandals last decade. Marketers want performance, and Meta delivers.
“My number one goal is what will make the company money,” said London. “I don't get involved in any other kind of issues, or Twitter versus this or versus that. I don't really care.”
For Meta, there’s risk that Threads cannibalizes Instagram’s revenue over Twitter’s. Meta, after all, built Threads on top of Instagram’s network, and advertisers want more than just a novel way to reach the same people. “If it’s just the same thing as Instagram, that’s not going to be as enticing,” said one executive at a major digital advertising agency. “Threads likely needs to pull in some growth from outside the Instagram community to keep growing.”
So Meta will take it slow, as long as it’s able. But while Zuckerberg said last week he’ll wait until Threads is on track to 1 billion users before thinking about monetization, it did hit 100 million in a week. With Wall Street shareholders to answer to, Meta’s journey may be quicker than many imagine. Advertisers are already speaking hopefully about a possible introduction of ads to Threads sometime later this year. “I’ve heard rumblings that this may be starting sometime in Q4, before the holidays,” said Herrmann. Others expressed similar hopes.
When Zuckerberg inevitably adds the Threads checkbox to Meta’s ad platform, it’ll be ominous for Twitter’s flailing ad business. At the very least, it will make it more difficult to grow. “I think Twitter is going to be hurting,” said London. “Why would I run on Twitter if I'm getting worse performance and reaching the same audience?”
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What Else I’m Reading, Etc.
ChatGPT is getting slower and lazier [Insider]
Twitter is sharing revenue with creators [Engadget]
Sarah Silverman sues OpenAI & Meta over copyright infringement [Semafor]
Lawmakers allege that Google & Meta are buying consumer tax data [CNBC]
Elon Musk launched an AI company staffed by former Google, OpenAI developers [The Verge]
Indigenous communities are using drones to map and protect their land [Rest of World]
Encryption faces threats from lawmakers around the world [Axios]
The Murdochs are losing faith in DeSantis [Rolling Stone]
Portugal is starting to rethink its drug legalization policies [Washington Post]
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Number Of The Week
Cost of a meeting at Shopify when top executives are included, the number now shows up in the company’s calendar invites to discourage unnecessary meetings.
Quote Of The Week
“Texting, for all intents and purposes, is a semipublic activity now. Even the inner sanctum of a romantic relationship can be catapulted onto the front page of the web at a moment’s notice.”
Vanity Fair writer Delia Cai on the Jonah Hill affair.
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This Week on Big Technology Podcast: Is Threads The Next Twitter Or Clubhouse 2.0? — With Zach Coelius
Zach Coelius is the managing partner at Coelius Capital. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a conversation about Threads' real potential, asking whether it's a redux of Clubhouse — destined to fizzle — or a real threat to replace Twitter. In this conversation, we cover Threads' potential, Elon's effort at Twitter, and whether we can really make assessments from the outside. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the venture capital environment and how Coelius' investments are performing. We also look at the demise of MediaMath, a once-leading ad-tech company that just went bankrupt.
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