Twitter Is Testing Carousel Ads for Video and Photo Tweets

Allows multiple multimedia tweets in a single swipable ad unit

Twitter's new Carousel ads Sources: Twitter, Getty Images

Twitter is launching a new ad unit that allows brands to combine multiple tweets in a single ad unit.

The product, called Promoted Tweet Carousel, lets marketers use a brand's tweets in a format that lets users swipe through photos, videos or text. Advertisers also can include content from niche creators—if they get permission from the originator first.

In a blog post today announcing the launch, Twitter Revenue product manager Andrew Bragdon said the Carousel unit is a way for brands to include visually appealing material in certain tweets while featuring pricing and information in others.

"Advertisers have told us that creating compelling, engaging content can be both expensive and time-consuming," Bragdon wrote. "We also know that driving word of mouth marketing is critical as marketers want to develop an authentic relationship with customers. Since people tweet about their favorite brands and products every day, we developed this powerful solution to help marketers leverage social recommendations."

The format is currently being tested by Disney, which has leveraged the ads for its movie The BFG (The Big Friendly Giant). For its Carousel tweets, Disney used both its own tweets and others from influencers to talk about "Gobblefunk," a made-up language used by the giants in the movie. Other brands including Gatorade and Volvo have also been testing Carousel tweets.

Anyone familiar with social media advertising will likely quickly recognize both the Carousel name and the Carousel format from a different platform: Instagram. The Facebook-owned company and Twitter rival has been using a similar ad format under the same name for a while, launching Carousel Ads first for photos in March 2015 and then last month for video or a combination of photos and videos. The ads have performed well, with Instagram's internal studying showing a 58 percent lift in conversion rate.

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