X is making a push to win over advertisers in the holiday season, by promoting its opportunities in “Q5”, which covers the post-Christmas to mid-January period.
As explained by X:
“During [Q5], we see reduced CPMs and cost-per-conversion as consumers shop for post-holiday deals and products to support their New Year’s ambitions. Last year, X saw a 5% reduction in the average CPM and a 27% reduction in the average cost-per-conversion1.”
Which could present new opportunity to reach a larger audience with your promotions, if indeed they are engaging on X over the holiday period.
“Q5 is filled with a wide variety of tent-pole moments, ranging from the holidays to sports, entertainment and more. With a surge of engagement around these conversations, your brand can remain relevant to your audiences while driving maximum ROI.”
X says that, based on engagement data from last year, there are a lot of potential topics of interest for brands.
X also notes that sports video views are surging in the app, up almost 25% YoY over the past 6 months, while vertical video is also gaining momentum.
“Vertical video is the fastest growing surface on X. Over 100M people around the world are consuming vertical video daily at an average of over 13 minutes per day. On many days, vertical video accounts for around 20% of all time spent on the platform5.”
Though I would advise some caution in trusting these data points.
In recent months, various questions have been raised as to what X counts as a video “view” versus an impression, which is when a post is shown in-feed.
Technically, X counts video views like this:
“The main X video view metric is triggered when a user watches a video for at least 2 seconds and sees at least 50% of the video player in-view. This applies to View metrics for both uploaded videos and live broadcasts.”
But that’s different to the actual view count that’s displayed on posts:
“Anyone who is logged into X who views a post counts as a view, regardless of where they see the post (e.g. Home, Search, Profiles, etc.) or whether or not they follow the author. If you’re the author, looking at your own post also counts as a view.”
Even worse, X counts multiple views from the same person in that count:
“Multiple views may be counted if you view a post more than once, but not all views are unique. For example, you could look at a post on web and then on your phone, and that would count as two views.”
So you can see how the public view count on video posts can massively overstate how many people actually watched a clip, which could be why X is reporting such big spikes in engagement. It just depends on which “view” metric it’s referring to here, actual views or exposure in stream.
Which makes all of these numbers a little difficult to determine, while X owner Elon Musk and CEO Linda Yaccarino have also continued to amplify misleading engagement stats via their own X profiles, muddying the waters as to what kind of actual reach and engagement you can expect.
And that’s before you consider the concerns that other advertisers have had with their promotions potentially being displayed alongside harmful or offensive content in the app.
But depending on how you feel about these aspects, and where your target audience is active, it could be worth considering X for your post-holiday promotions, as you look to maximize sales activity over the holiday period.
It’s also worth considering that with fewer big-name brands taking prime spots in the app, there may also be additional opportunity to reach people via X promotions.
There may be value, depending on your strategic thinking, though I would be keeping an eye on actual engagement
You can read more of X’s Q5 insights here.