Twitter Now Running Pre-Roll Ads

Twitter will now run American Express pre-roll ads before Fox programming is displayed on the social network. As part of the Amplify program that launched last week, these Fox spots are ads themselves by design, so the American Express pre-roll ads are effectively ads on top of ads. It’s part of Twitter’s continued effort to become profitable as soon as possible in light of its IPO. Right now, that’s scheduled to be 2015, but if the company can leverage ads to make that happen sooner, they’ll take every chance they can get. 

American Express Turns E-Commerce Into TV Commerce

In an attempt to monetize the “Second Screen” phenomenon, American Express is making the marketing dream of “buying Rachel Green’s sweater” a reality. AmEx partnered with NBC Universal and News Corp and has already tested plans to let people purchase items “inspired by” NBC Universal outfits while the programs are airing. At Fox, the new Fox Now iPad app allows users to shop in real time while watching “New Girl” for an item on the show made available for sale. AmEx cardholders would receive $35 back when using their cards synced with Facebook and Twitter as part of the initiative.

The program works through an App called Zeebox, a social-TV app that lets users converse in real time with friends watching the same show, or follow related Twitter and Facebook feeds, and aims to start, much like the “New Girl” specials, with specific, novelty items displayed on air. This is but one part of television’s attempt to keep pace with shifting demographics and technology’s rapidly-expanding influence on the entertainment industry – expect efforts of this nature to continue to take effect as the second-screen phenomenon becomes more widespread.  

American Express Upgrades Sync For Twitter

American Express has upgraded its Sync program to work with Twitter, so that Cardholders can now purchase items by using a hashtag. The first item for sale will be a $25 American Express gift card which can be had for $15 if you tweet #BuyAmexGiftCard25. Other initial offers will include a Kindle Fire, an Xbox controller, an Xbox 360, and an Xbox Live subscription. If the consumer chooses to buy the item via hashtag, @AmexSync will reply with a confirmation hashtag to confirm the purchase. If the user confirms, the item will be shipped, for free, to their home within two days. Amex isn’t the first company to sync purchasing with Twitter, however, as in 2012 a startup named Chirpify linked with PayPal to allow users to buy and sell on twitter using handles. But Amex’s expansion represents the largest move into “T-Commerce” yet, and every hashtag yields more promotion and brand endorsement over social media.

New Fees in the Future For Credit Card Users

An anti-trust suit from 2005 has finally been settled between merchants, credit card companies, and banks to allow retailers in 40 US states to add surcharges on credit card purchases.  These fees are still illegal in California, New York, Texas, and seven other states.  The fees are optional for retailers, and there will be no fee on debit card purchases, but if you often pull out the plastic, that 1% cash back might not be worth it much longer.