By Shirley Siluk / CIO Today. Updated August 28, 2014.
Until now, most Twitter users could only guess how many other people viewed their tweets or responded in some way to their 140-characters-or-fewer bits of wisdom. But that's changed with the public release of Twitter Analytics, which gives any Twitter account holder the ability to see how much of an impression his Tweets are having in the social media world.
Twitter engineer Ian Chan announced the general availability of Twitter Analytics in a tweet on Wednesday, writing, “Absolutely thrilled to open up access to http://analytics.twitter.com to everyone. Check it out, and let us know what you think.”
Previously available only to select users and customers with paid Twitter Ads accounts, Twitter Analytics features a dashboard that shows both impressions -- the number of times a tweet was viewed on Twitter -- and engagements, which include retweets, replies, follows and favorites. Users can also export the data files of their Twitter accounts to further analyze how their tweets are performing over time and which types of tweets are generating the most active responses.
Ad Revenues Up, No Profit Yet
Twitter has experimented with releasing its analytics data to a wider range of users before, most recently about a month ago. It’s one of the many strategies the company is likely exploring in an effort to grow both its user and revenue bases.
Unlike, say, Facebook, Twitter doesn’t have access to the same, vast amounts of personal user data that is so valuable to online marketers. Still, Twitter is seeing ad revenues grow, although the company has not yet turned a profit.
Founded in 2007, Twitter reported in the second quarter of this year that it now has 271 million monthly active users, compared to 257 million in the previous quarter. Seventy-eight percent of its account holders use mobile devices to Tweet, and 77 percent are outside the U.S.
Twitter’s most recent quarterly report also showed that the company's ad revenues grew to $277 million, a 129-percent increase over 2013.
‘Tremendous’ for SMEs
“With over a billion tweets sent every two days, Twitter is a goldmine of data for marketers,” LeadSift co-founder and CEO Tapajyoti Das said on his company’s blog last week. “However, sifting through this seemingly unending stream of data to actually identify and target the right consumers can be a daunting, if not impossible, task.”
LeadSift uses its own algorithm to identify customer leads for companies looking to market via social media. We reached out to Das to see how the general availability of Twitter Analytics could affect social media marketing.
“It’s great,” Das said. “It gives regular users an idea of how engaging their content is.”
He added that while “large enterprises all have super-sophisticated tools that do this,” many smaller businesses on Twitter don’t have such in-house capabilities. Upon learning of the Twitter Analytics release yesterday, he said he checked his own company's performance and discovered "some interesting findings."
“This is tremendous for small and medium-size enterprises,” Das said, adding that knowing how many people actually saw your Tweet is a “very, very interesting metric for a lot of clients.”