Twitter First View format gives video ads top billing in timelines for 24 hours

9 Feb 2016

Talk of changes to Twitter's timeline algorithms was premature, but a new video format has arrived on timelines

While there has been much talk about algorithms that may change the order and appearance of users’ Twitter timelines, the social network has unveiled a new ad format called First View that will give advertisers top billing in timelines for 24 hours.

The move comes just days after many Twitter users had their feathers ruffled by rumours that Twitter was planning an algorithm change that would make it more like Facebook. CEO Jack Dorsey took to Twitter to defend the algorithm and he denied it would make the micro-blogging site anything like Facebook.

However, what has occurred in terms of changes to the timeline is a new ad format.

When a user visits Twitter via the app or web for the first time during a 24-hour period a Promoted Video will appear.

The new format will give advertisers the top ad spot – just one below an organic tweet – in users’ timelines over a 24-hour period, giving the advertiser an opportunity to get noticed.

“Each day, millions of people come to Twitter to engage in conversations about their passions and every topic of interest that continually shapes culture,” explained Deepak Rawo, revenue product manager at Twitter.

“At the same time, marketers come to Twitter to reach this live, premium audience through promoted trends and promoted moments, creating significant brand moments for their product launches, event sponsorships, and film premieres. Now, with First View, marketers can scale their efforts even further.

“First View helps marketers achieve significant audience reach with exclusive ownership of Twitter’s most valuable advertising real estate for a 24-hour period. When users first visit the Twitter app or log in to, the top ad slot in the timelines will be a promoted video from that brand. Now, marketers can tell a powerful visual story across the Twitter audience,” Rao said in the Twitter blog.

Among the first brands to use the new format are T-Mobile as part of a promotional campaign and 20th Century Fox to promote the trailer for Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.

Twitter is rolling out First View gradually to managed clients in the US, and in the coming months plans to expand it globally.

Targeted mobile advertising image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years