Twitter is one of the largest, most popular social platforms in the world but despite the fact that it is generating significant advertising revenue, the company has struggled to live up to expectations.

One of Twitter's most promising ad products, Amplify, allows advertisers to display pre-roll ads against video clips distributed via the service.

Especially popular with television and cable networks, Amplify has been a mixed bag for advertisers who complain that they're too hard to purchase.

They have "just been a huge pain in the ass to activate," Travis Freeman, head of social for Aegis Network, told AdAge. That's because advertisers can't actually create Amplify campaigns without significant interaction with Twitter and publishers. According to Freeman, some of his agency's clients have given up on Amplify because of the hassle.

In an attempt to make Amplify more advertiser friendly, Twitter last week announced Auto Amplify, a spin on the offering that will enable advertisers to automatically activate Amplify campaigns against videos distributed by publishers they have deals with. 

Is self-serve the key to attracting ad dollars?

While it doesn't quite offer advertisers the ability to fully automate the purchase of Amplify ads, Twitter is obviously hoping that Auto Amplify will reduce friction enough to garner more spend from advertisers who are clamoring for video ad inventory.

Twitter's experience with Amplify highlights the fact that with ad products proliferating at a rapid pace, advertisers are more and more picky about the ad products they choose to use, and even large, attractive platforms like Twitter can lose out if their offerings are too difficult to work with.

Obviously, not all offerings are a fit for fully automated or programmatic buying, but it's becoming clear that at a minimum media sellers that don't offer a reasonable level of self-service are at risk of seeing ad dollars flow to the media sellers that do.

Patricio Robles

Published 1 June, 2015 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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