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Finally, Twitter can tell you if you actually know how to tweet.

The company announced a refreshed version of its analytics product Thursday morning, a drastic expansion of the data partners and publishers can see about their Twitter activity.

The new, more detailed analytics dashboard homes in on Twitter “Cards,” a piece of technology that lets developers insert rich media — like photos or video — into the body of the tweets themselves. Along with retweets, clicks and follower measurement, the new dashboard will analyze how well certain types of Cards are performing, among other insights.

A few quick takeaways:

  • This will likely be part of Twitter’s big pitch to publishers, which rely on Twitter for distribution of their stories. With Cards, the idea has always been that if publishers make their tweets media-rich and attractive, they’ll pick up more traffic to their sites. Now publishers can actually measure whether or not that’s true.
  • I suspect it’s also a pitch to small-time developers looking for mobile app distribution. Twitter offers a mobile app install card, which redirects users to the App Store directly from a tweet. It’s good for Twitter if it can entice developers to use that type of Card more often — especially if that eventually means these developers could pay to promote these tweets. (Right now, Facebook is way ahead in this game.)
  • Lastly, this stuff is table stakes for a proper analytics product. Without meaningful data on how their tweets are performing, it’s hard to convince partners that their Twitter activity is actually having any impact on driving downloads or page views at all. This, at the very least, is one step closer to being worth it.

Speaking of Cards, I’d watch what Twitter does with them in the coming weeks. It’s working on a deal with payments startup Stripe, which I imagine will result in a new type of commerce-related Card for developers to use, ultimately allowing for selling items inside of tweets. (That’s something that many inside and outside of Twitter have wanted for some time.)

Probably worth noting here as well that Facebook rolled out its own little update to its app analytics product on Thursday morning, though it seems hardly more than an aesthetic refresh.

Head over to Twitter’s analytics FAQ page to see a deeper drill-down of how the new offering works.




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