The New York Times is hoping that Twitter can help advertisers see better gains from a placement in the newspaper, and is starting to offer targeted ads based on whether a story is trending on the social network. This is a new way to think about targeting, as instead of placing ads by relevant category, they are placed by popularity and the chance for extra exposure.
The New York Times’ R&D lab has developed this new product, known as ‘Sparking Stories.’ It is based on the social media analytics tool Cascade, which allows the newspaper to track what stories on the site are being shared a lot on social media.
This data is used by editors and reporters to see how well their content is going down with the readers. ‘Sparking Stories’ enables advertisers to place their ads inside these specific stories. Michael Zimbalist from the NYT’s R&D lab said:
We developed this tool that lets us see what stories are trending, so now we’ve created an API that lets our ad server talk to this tool, and we’ve created an ad product called Sparking Stories, where an advertiser can come in and buy a package of stories that are trending right now on Twitter, irrespective of section or context or topic — just the stories that are really breaking through right now on social media.