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Twitter CMO reveals 'See What's Happening' campaign to cement the social network as home of breaking news


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

July 25, 2016 | 4 min read

Twitter's chief marketing officer Leslie Berland has unveiled the social network's latest advertising push, saying the company wants to clear up misconceptions around what it is actually used for.

It's no secret that Twitter has been struggling to grow its user base for the past few years, but in a blog post published today Berland, who was appointed in January, said her team was "taking steps to express what we’re for and what we’ve always been."

As such, the microblogging site has unveiled a series of video and digital ads with a heavy focus on breaking news, sports and live events.

"Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now. From breaking news and entertainment to sports and politics – from big events to everyday interests with all the live commentary that makes Twitter unique," asserted Berland.

The 'See What's Happening' spots, follow on from research conducted by Twitter which found that while 90 per cent of people recognised the brand, many were unsure what Twitter was for. Some respondents said they weren't confident about creating an account because they thought they'd have to tweet everyday and "didn't have much to say," and others said that they believed its primary function was to connect with friends and family.

Twitter has had an issue with marketing its core product in the face of growing competition from the likes of Instagram, Snapchat and others. At the start of the year reinstated chief executive Jack Dorsey said that it had been focusing on "developing a stronger point of view about what we are and what we want to be," having just hired Berland one month previous.

It hinted at a renewed focus on news with the launch of its curated trending platform Moments in the last half of 2015, and just a few months ago altered its classification in Apple's App Store, moving from the 'social network' category into 'news'.

Today's campaign appears to cement this positioning, with Berland saying: " We’re also introducing a new look and feel in our marketing that reflects the people around the world who make Twitter what it is, highlighting the diversity and expressiveness in all its color and vibrancy. Everything that happens on Twitter is about them and we look forward to continuing to tell our story and theirs."

Twitter is poised to post its earnings for the most recent quarter tomorrow (26 July) afternoon.

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