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Twitter hones mobile and live video pitch to advertisers seeking millennials

The director of Twitter’s client partnership in Australia Angus Keene has flagged new features and more partnerships with events like e-sports as key parts of the social network’s plan to attract new advertisers.

Keene spoke to Mumbrella about the service’s plans to offerings better video features and sponsorship programs for advertisers and brands.

Keene: Twitter doubling down on video

After a rocky few years with stagnant user numbers, Twitter has seen a recovery in recent times with the company reporting a 14% global increase in daily active users last year, although advertising revenues fell five percent.

In Australia the improvement in subscriber numbers was even more pronounced with the Sensis Social Media Index suggesting the proportion of local social media users accessing the service last year jumped from 19% to 32%

“I think we did two things that have set us up for success last year, first of all what we did is we better defined what Twitter is,” Keene says. “Twitter is the fastest way to see what’s happening in the world.”

“The second piece was to refocus our product strategy, we’ve made the product simpler and easier to use, we’ve made it more engaging and we’ve doubled down on video. The result is we’ve seen growth on the platform.”

With revenues in decline, Twitter’s main task is to attract advertisers to the service. Keene believes partnering agreements and live video tools will entice new customers, particularly those brands wanting to connect to millennials.

Key to attracting younger audiences is the service’s focus on relationships with e-sports, music and entertainment with Twitter partnering with Riot Games last month to live stream the League of Legends online tournament, which attracted a million unique viewers with an average view time of just over 10 minutes.

The League of Legends deal follows partnerships with the Australian Open and the Melbourne Cup aiming at the mass market sports events on the Twitter Live platform which Keene sees as the service’s fundamental attraction. “Twitter has always been live, it’s where people go to find things out,” he says.

At the Twitter’s Newsfront conference in May, the company announced 16 live streaming partners including concert promoter Live Nation, the US Womens NBA and a Bloomberg news channel.

Keene also sees major sporting codes using Twitter Live to promote more niche parts of their game, “because of the nature of the Australian market, we have some big dominant sports with commercial arrangements signed over a number of years,” he said. “We think there’s an opportunity to extend the reach of some of their shoulder programming and partner with some of the sports brands outside that top tier.”

In Australia Twitter has partnered with the NRL to stream some below age games including the junior State of Origin which attracted around 80,000 viewers.

Along with the partnership program, Keene is eager to showcase Twitter’s Periscope Producer, where brands can produce their own video content including being able plug in professional equipment for higher quality feeds.

“More and more brands are using Periscope Producer, it’s high quality video content and they are broadcasting events with Myer,” he states.

Twitter’s In-Stream service that was launched in the US last April is yet to have an Australian release date but Keene believes it will round out his company’s advertising products by “offering a more scalable solution.”

“Twitter is growing, our audience is increasing, we have an incredibly unique passionate and engaged audience,” he concludes. “We’re going to be doubling down on live with its mobile, engaged audience and we’ll be doing more partnerships with premium publishers around sponsors.”

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