Brand pages have two key elements, both of them free. They can
be customized with large header images that advertisers can use to
display their logo and tagline more prominently than under the
standard format, where branded elements of the page design are
often partially covered by the time line of tweets. Brands can also
choose to keep a particular tweet at the top of their time line,
and that top tweet also auto-expands to reveal an embedded photo or
video from Flickr, YouTube or other sources, without requiring the
user to take action.
Additionally, they separate out a brand's @ replies and
mentions, which Mr. Bain noted is important for a customer-service
oriented company like JetBlue, one of the launch partners, which
frequently responds to users but wanted a way to keep its messaging
from getting diluted.
"A tweet's only 140 characters," said Mr. Bain. "[Brand page
are] like an invitation to learn more. When consumers want to learn
more, spend more time or get deeper in terms of engagement, we
think they'll end up on the brand page."
Twitter is launching brand pages with 21 marketers: American Express,
Best Buy, Bing, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Dell , Disney, General
Intel, JetBlue, Kia, McDonald's, Nike , PepsiCo, Staples, Verizon
Communications Wireless, NYSE Euronext, Heineken, Subway and
Paramount Pictures, specifically for the release of "Mission:
Impossible -- Ghost Protocol." It has also partnered with some
charities and individuals that it hasn't disclosed.
Mr. Bain said that all the marketers involved in the launch are
strategic partners and advertisers that have been involved in
ongoing dialogues with Twitter.
There's a clear application for entertainment brands like
Paramount and Disney, which is promoting the upcoming movie "Brave"
in its top tweet. But early-use cases are varied. Pepsi is
deploying the brand page functionality for individual products such
as Pepsi and Diet Pepsi . General Electric created video content
for today's launch geared toward helping consumers understand what
the company does in human terms. Mr. Bain pointed toward the
company as a forward-thinking marketer that will be increasingly
using promoted tweets and trends to drive eyes to its brand page in
"The question for each one of these marketers is what is the
interesting, compelling, provocative content that they can be
putting out to a larger audience to keep that engagement high,"
said Mr. Bain, adding that marketers in the launch group were
already actively distributing content on Twitter but were looking
for a way to make it stand out better.
For Twitter, launching brand pages could be a way of challenging
Facebook's hegemony as the secondary branded destination for a
company after its own site, as well as another means of inducing
big brand advertisers to loosen the purse strings by making organic
and paid content more interconnected. If brand pages become
enticing destinations with rich content experiences, Twitter's
advertising products become more appealing as a means of directing
Twitter's global ad revenue is projected to reach $139.5
million in 2011 and approach $400 million in 2013, according to
launched its advertising program in April 2010 with six advertisers
signed up to use promoted tweets.
Brand pages will also ultimately be deployed for Twitter's
mobile clients, but not for today's launch.