Twitter’s new CMO, Leslie Berland, who joined the company in February, announced a new campaign in a blog post Monday morning for those who don’t see the value in sharing the mundanities of daily life on Twitter. The implied message from the social media giant is that Twitter is a place to “see what’s happening” with “all the live commentary’ that makes Twitter unique.”
The ads focused on work from two key themes- which emerged from ongoing research efforts focused on people who don’t regularly use Twitter: that they didn’t know what Twitter was for and that they thought they had to tweet every day.
“Many thought of Twitter primarily as a social network,” Berland wrote in a post. “A place to find and connect with friends and family.” She said they also thought that these people didn’t use Twitter because they didn’t have much to say. “We realized we had some explaining and clarifying to do.”
While designers do weigh in on current events on Twitter, it is the celebrities and media brands that have really made the most of the platform and are posting regularly. The fashion crowd has been more enthusiast in engaging fans with news posts and Twitter’s live video platform Periscope, which has been used to broadcast runway shows and other events.
Berland offered some encouraging news for Twitter that came out of its research — 90 percent of people globally recognize the brand and those who do use Twitter classify it as the “best and fastest way to see what’s happening.”
The campaign videos have shared scenes and hashtags from recent events, including politics, protests, food and entertainment, with a voiceover that says, “What’s happening in the world? What’s everyone talking about? What’s trending?”
Yesterday, the platform shared its second-quarter earnings with investors.Twitter’s monthly user growth has recently stalled around 320 million, well behind Facebook’s 1.65 billion users and lagging Instagram’s 400 million.
Twitter’s identity crisis hasn’t been as severe as Yahoo, which just cut a $4.83 billion deal to sell its core business to Verizon. Twitter has been gradually introducing updates that signify efforts to make its service easier to use and to grow its user base. In May, the company said attachments would not count toward its 140-character limited. It has also moved away from a chronological timeline and added a “Moments” section, both efforts to help users find the most relevant content. Last month, it added Engage, a stand-alone app that is designed to help “creators, influencers and public figures” grow and engage with their audience.
Part of its path to being perceived as a breaking news service is live-streaming of events. Twitter most recently announced that it would live-stream popular sport games and nightly highlights programs from 120 sports, and has been streaming the Republican and Democratic national conventions.
Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey in April said this would be an ongoing focus.
“Twitter has always been the best place to see what’s happening now,” he said. “Think of President Obama congratulating Elon Musk on the historic SpaceX landing, or the world celebrating the legacy of the legendary artist Prince.”
In addition to the “See what’s happening” message, Twitter is livening up its color palette and using its iconic bird mascot in more abstract ways as a design element—for example, as a frame around images of dynamic shots of the world. More visual diversity is meant to celebrate the existing user base’s expressiveness and vibrancy.
“That blue bird is recognized all over the world and is extremely powerful,” Berland said to AdWeek. “I think what we haven’t done enough of is breaking out of those blues and whites and grays to really show both the diversity and the voices and the personality that come to life on Twitter every single day.”
She added: “The way I like to think about it is, you now see the bird as a window into what’s happening in the world. The images and the pictures and the photos are really coming to life within the bird itself. We’re playing with different cuts and views of the bird. When you have a brand that’s this powerful, there’s a lot that you can do with it.”