Worth 140 Characters –Twitter Opens up Emoji Targeting to Advertisers

These are crazy times indeed for people like me who think five words are always better than one. So much of proper online communication seems to consist not of a finely crafted Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis structure (though I still try, with mixed results), but of having the right meme, GIF or emoji to hand. These images represent a vast network of in-jokes and widely understood meanings, born of the need to communicate a lot with very little space.

Such is the impact that these little pictures have had on the way we talk to each other, that Oxford Dictionaries actually named the Tears of Joy emoji its Word of the Year 2015.
The way we talk to each other online has changed, and, like any new behaviour is wont to do at first, this causes a bit of a problem for advertisers. Keyword targeting has been an established feather in the digital cap for years. It’s hard to misinterpret someone who tweets I’m so excited for my holiday!!!,but the same person tweeting a palm tree emoji and a row of hearts is beyond the scope of word-based targeting.

To be fair, easy words don’t necessarily mean easy comprehension

Twitter has the most to gain by untangling this pixel web. Given its strict character limits, it is a natural place for shorthand to flourish. Conversational targeting is also a real trump card for the platform, so it also has the most to gain by keeping that offering in top shape.


Given that emojishave been used over 110 billion times since 2014*, that’s a lot of conversation signals advertisers are potentially missing out on. There has been a huge rise in interest for semantic and non-verbal targeting recently, as companies rush to unpick the new ways we talk to each other. Maybe one day there will a tool that can understand my jokes.
I have only one word for that: 😃


*source: AmobeeBrand Intelligence

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