Dig­i­tal trans­parency, so­cial video shows and m-com­merce

Com­mer­cial transactions made elec­tron­i­cally by mo­bile phone will con­tinue to spread

Arabian Business English - - 2019 PREDICTIONS TECHNOLOGY - By Ben­jamin Am­pen, MANAG­ING DIREC­TOR AT TWIT­TER, MENA& PAK­ISTAN

WITH THE CON­STANT evo­lu­tion of the dig­i­tal land­scape, we have seen an in­crease in scru­tiny to­wards how so­cial me­dia plat­forms demon­strate trans­parency and build trust and ac­count­abil­ity. 2018 saw sev­eral global in­ci­dents sur­round­ing data breaches and le­git­i­macy. This will be par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in the up­com­ing year when mar­keters are ques­tion­ing me­dia in­vest­ments.

At Twit­ter, we in­tro­duced a new ‘health’ ap­proach to­wards serv­ing pub­lic con­ver­sa­tion in 2018. We believe that Twit­ter’s value as a daily util­ity is en­hanced when the con­ver­sa­tion on the plat­form is health­ier and peo­ple feel safe to freely ex­press them­selves. We have in­tro­duced new mea­sures to han­dle spam, ma­li­cious au­to­ma­tion, and plat­form ma­nip­u­la­tion. We are now re­mov­ing more than twice the num­ber of ac­counts which are vi­o­lat­ing our spam poli­cies com­pared to 2017.

When it comes to video, it con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant way for peo­ple to stay in­formed, en­abling con­tent cre­ators to bet­ter share ex­pe­ri­ences, en­gage in events and con­verse with broader au­di­ences. On Twit­ter, video views have nearly dou­bled over the past year. Busi­nesses have been sig­nif­i­cantly in­creas­ing their in­vest­ment in video, as video ads have been con­sis­tently ac­count­ing for more than half of our ad rev­enue in the past two years.

Busi­nesses now un­der­stand that con­sump­tion is mov­ing to mo­bile and younger de­mo­graph­ics are skew­ing that way and to­wards video ex­pe­ri­ences. Now more than ever, ad­ver­tis­ers are ex­plor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease their reach with highly rel­e­vant video con­tent. Re­search has re­vealed that align­ing with tar­geted con­tent through short-form videos cre­ates higher brand im­pact.

At Twit­ter, we have in­tro­duced orig­i­nal pro­grammes both glob­ally and in the re­gion in part­ner­ship with pre­mium pub­lish­ers. This has al­lowed busi­nesses to in­clude tar­geted pre-roll in front of pre­mium con­tent as well as other cre­ative ac­ti­va­tions such as branded con­tent in­te­gra­tions.

Yet so­cial me­dia is not a “one size fits all”, and mar­keters un­der­stand that each plat­form should be lever­aged for spe­cific ob­jec­tives. In the case of Twit­ter, we’ve found that the plat­form has the most valu­able au­di­ence when they are most re­cep­tive.

We con­ducted a global study in part­ner­ship with Kan­tar Me­dia, in­clud­ing UAE, Saudi Ara­bia and Egypt by in­ter­view­ing both Twit­ter and non-Twit­ter users. The find­ings re­vealed that peo­ple on Twit­ter are the first to try and buy new prod­ucts (66 per­cent for Twit­ter vs. 46 per­cent for non-users in UAE) and to share and talk about them too.

In a world where ev­ery­thing is “look at me” and Twit­ter is “look at this”, ad­ver­tis­ers are tap­ping into this dis­cov­ery mind­set to launch new prod­ucts. Ad­ver­tis­ers are now well aware that on plat­forms such as Twit­ter, peo­ple are there to build new re­la­tion­ships with like­minded in­di­vid­u­als and not nec­es­sar­ily with per­sonal con­tacts. Lik­ing a Tweet car­ries no so­cial obli­ga­tions. There­fore when a per­son fol­lows you on Twit­ter – you have their at­ten­tion and in­ter­est, not just their as­so­ci­a­tion.

And while still a rel­a­tively small part of re­tail re­gion­ally, we have seen in­creased growth and de­vel­op­ment of pure e-com­merce play­ers such as Al Tayer Group and Ama­zon. We have also seen an in­flux of tra­di­tional play­ers, such as Chal­houb Group, be­gin to em­brace on­line re­tail. This is re­flec­tive in the vol­ume of Tweets in the re­gion, where Tweets in MENA around shop­ping in 2018 alone in­creased to more than 6 mil­lion. The in­vest­ment in ads from e-com­merce play­ers on Twit­ter in the MENA re­gion dur­ing the month of Novem­ber, Cy­ber Week and the day it­self on 23rd Fri­day in 2018 were the big­gest we’ve wit­nessed in the his­tory of Twit­ter. A study that we launched in MENA around consumer be­hav­iour and mo­ti­va­tions with re­gards to m-com­merce, re­vealed that the Twit­ter users sur­veyed are more likely than non-users to adopt mo­bile pay­ment, and that there are four times, two times and 1.8 times more Twit­ter users in Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia and UAE re­spec­tively, who shop on mo­bile on a weekly ba­sis com­pared to non-Twit­ter users.

Mo­bile takeover M-com­merce is gain­ing ground in the re­gion

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