Twitter Tests New Ad Unit: Carousel

Christopher Spong
June 8, 2016
Twitter has begun testing a new carousel ad format. Everything you need to know about the new ad type.

In a blog post released earlier this month, Twitter announced the testing of a new creative unit for advertisers. Dubbed the Promoted Tweet Carousel, brands can now feature multiple messages in a single ad unit. In addition to text, images, and native video, the ad unit allows advertisers to supplement their carousel ads with user-generated tweets (with the user’s permission).


Following Facebook’s rollout of its own carousel ad units on its main platform and on Instagram, Twitter’s version of the new ad format is a natural progression for the social network as it tries to retain and grow its advertiser base. Advertisers have claimed that carousel ads receive a click-through rate that is 10x higher than traditional ad units on Facebook and Instagram. Currently Twitter’s version of carousel only optimizes toward on-platform engagement.



Creating campaign content with multiple messages to form a story that is relevant and engaging to consumers can be difficult for marketers to do on their own. Utilizing the content created by a brand’s engaged social following can be a powerful way to communicate key messages to other consumers. With explicit permission from a user, a brand may use an existing tweet within its carousel ad. User tweets from Niche, Twitter’s influencer program, will also be available to advertisers soon.

Finding and effectively sharing user-generated content (UGC) for a brand campaign can be a big hurdle for marketers. Community managers can help identify the best UGC available through social listening and monitoring.



Although the number of tweets allowed in a carousel unit may be as high as 20, Twitter says the sweet spot is between 5 and 7. Tweets using text, images, and/or video are acceptable post formats, but must first exist as separate tweets before being added to the ad. Promoted Tweet Carousel placements only optimize toward on-platform engagement currently and would be best used in campaigns with the objective of increasing brand awareness or brand sentiment. Finally, with impending changes to Twitter’s character limit, tweets used in carousel ads can include a full 140 characters of text along with images and/or video.



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