Twitter to focus on live experience and working more closely with clients, says new MD

Social media platform Twitter is set to re-focus on the live experience following a period of uncertainty for the company which culminated in a restructure that saw 9% of jobs axed.

Suzy Nicoletti, the newly appointed managing director of Twitter, said the social media platform is set to focus on working more closely with its client partners and agencies and focusing on the live element of Twitter.

Suzy Nicoletti:

Suzy Nicoletti: There is a huge appetite for mobile and mobile video

“As we look to the future in Australia under this new structure there are two things we are going to do differently and that we’re going to focus in on,” she said.

Nicoletti said Twitter would be focusing “deeply on live, and on live stream in particular”.

“In Australia, there is a huge appetite for mobile and mobile video. According to Nielsen, in most recent months Australians consumed seven-and-a-half hours of video content on their mobile devices,” she said.

“In this market, Australia gets over 50% of its revenue from video executions, which makes it a global leader in this respect for Twitter.”

Nicoletti cited Twitter’s live stream of the Melbourne Cup earlier this month as what the live experience means for Twitter.


“We did a live stream with the Victorian Racing Club for the Melbourne Cup and that was the first live stream deal done globally outside of the US in this space,” she said.

“We had five different brands advertise against the Melbourne Cup.”

Nicoletti said Twitter is “very encouraged by the conversations we’re having”, with the company hopeful it will announce live stream opportunities in the near future.

“From a brand perspective, we’re looking to monetise these live streams with local opportunities but we’ll also have global opportunities where there will be an opportunity to advertise some global streams in Australia,” she said.

“We’re really going to focus in on live and on innovation and that’s very much in line with where the company is headed and how we hope to grow in this market.”

Twitter’s live streams will look beyond sport, Nicolleti said.

“We’re looking at sport, news, politics and entertainment. We have a number of different conversations going on.

“For us this is about focusing in on the right consumer experience. We’re finding that live is a platform users in this market want to engage with.

“For us at this point, live is going to be a big part of our future and of growing audience numbers alongside engagement in this market.”

When questioned on how Twitter can compete with Facebook Live, Nicolleti was unconcerned.


“We’ve always been the destination for live, Twitter has always done that,” she said.

“It’s about bringing people together to have a discussion about something that’s happening in the moment.

“Live is the core of everything Twitter is about and we have a number of innovative deals and partnerships. We’re very encouraged by the conversations we’re having.”

Twitter APAC VP, Aliza Knox, said the live experience is a way to get users to re-engage with the platform and discover how to use it.

“At the beginning of the year we talked about making it clearer to users what Twitter is for and how they could use it. That’s what we’ve tried to do, which is get them into the platform; once they see how to use it, they start engaging again,” she said.

“What we see with live events is they can communicate with other people about the event and that engages them and brings them back for more.

“It’s about showing people the power of the platform, once they’re on they tend to engage very rapidly and once they’re deeply engaged they come back for more.”

On keeping users on the platform, Nicoletti said Twitter is trying to enhance the user experience “to find more ways to bring people value on the platform”.

She cited Twitter’s partnership with Transport for NSW which sees notifications around transport delays delivered via Twitter as something that provides users with extra value.


“We’re now giving commuters personalised, real-time, direct message updates on the train stops that matter the most to them,” she said.

Again, there is this live component and conversation, we’re also looking at ways to bring values to consumers everyday in a way that they will come back and keep engaging with the platform.”

Alongside the focus on live, Twitter will also be looking to work more closely with its client partners and agencies.

“We’re going to work with them to reach consumers in more innovative ways,” Nicoletti said.

“We definitely punch above our weight in regards to innovation. In the new structure we’re looking to consult and partner with our top brands and advertisers to bring more solutions and drive business outcomes.”

Nicoletti cited the recent partnership with Optus as an example of how Twitter can work with brands to deliver business results.

“When Optus won the broadcast rights for the EPL, they were looking for a new way to reach consumers that weren’t currently on network,” she said.

“We created a world-first gadget with them and were able to funnel potential consumers on Twitter to the Optus sales team via direct message.

“The results of that were pretty powerful. First and foremost we reached 4.3m users in Australia – 62% of the direct message traffic sent through were from consumers not on the Optus network, and last and most importantly, from a sales perspective, they were able to make in revenue double what they had in fact invested with Twitter.”


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