Twitter to Offer Brand Pages Like Facebook’s, Report Says
Twitter is developing a new kind of profile page for business accounts, similar to Facebook Pages, reports London-based Sarah Shearman of BrandRepublic tonight, based on conversations with multiple unnamed sources familiar with the plans.
Shearman’s report indicates that the pages will provide more space for brands to communicate with their visitors, outside of the structure of 140 character messages and the small fields currently offered on account profile pages. “Chief Executive Dick Costolo, and Adam Bain, president of revenue, are leading the push to create fresh revenue streams,” Shearman writes. Marketers we spoke to tonight expressed support for the idea; Twitter has not yet responded to our request for comment.
“Branded pages on Twitter could be interesting, although Twitter is more flow-based than page based,” says Rick Mans, Social Media Lead at Capgemini, a technology consulting service based in Paris, France with 110,000 employees across 40 countries.
“I think it would be very useful for brands to have a page that is richer than the current profile page, especially for users who will visit the page of the brand for the first time and who will get a broader overview than they have now.
“Integration of branded pages with the existing ecosystem of tools could be interesting.”
While brand advertisers would no doubt be overjoyed by the prospect of breaking free from the constraints of the current platform – and there are many – brand pages like there are on Facebook may not be suitable for Twitter, which is a different kind of network.
Both networks are historically unusual in that they offer brands an opportunity to try to convince would-be customers to subscribe to updates from the brand, integrated into a stream of real-time multi-media updates from friends and family. To date, a brand’s ability on the site to make a call to action to subscribe have been subject to substantial limitations due to the structure of the site. Twitter has consistently taken bold risks in creating new advertising products and this sounds like it could be one of the next ones. At the same time, Twitter has been criticized for being far slower than at rolling out business services than would-be customers would have liked.
“It seems interesting and a natural progression, but I’m interested in the features,” says Nick Gonzales, VP of Operations at Nervora Digital Media Group in the United Arab Emirates. “Brands can already own personal accounts, and if anything Facebook’s branded product has tried to move back to being more like user accounts.”
Would users recoil at increased brand messaging on Twitter? Might it lead to the MySpace-ification of Twitter profile pages? Making customized profile pages a paid product for verified business owners could help prevent that from happening. It may be difficult to imagine how users would react – but it’s very clear that business users would love to take a shot at it.
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