Will Twitter’s free analytics hurt the marketing platforms that partner with it?

Twitter recently made its analytics available to everyone,  which means users now have access to one of its best marketing tools at no cost. By doing that however, Twitter is providing a service that until now was only available to people who were advertising on it, or using one of the many social media marketing platforms that partner with it.

Platforms such as Sprinklr, Spredfast, Simply Measured and Hootsuite were granted special access to Twitter’s API in order to provide various levels of performance analytics and listening capabilities to social media marketers. Now that Twitter is making some of those features available for free, could it be taking business away from its API partners?

Not likely, says Spredfast CTO Manish Mehta. “We’re not concerned at all about Twitter’s announcement,” says Mehta. “We’ve had numerous conversations with Twitter over the past few months and they’ve been very transparent about their plans to introduce analytics.” 

Mehta says Spredfast’s platform has a very targeted functionality for marketers which offers far more sophisticated features than Twitter’s analytics. This makes its strategy very different from Twitter’s, whose ultimate goal is to increase activity and engagement on its platform. By making the analytics free for Twitter users who aren’t necessarily marketers, Mehta says it will incentive users to optimize their content, and increase their rates of posting. Even getting a tiny portion of Twitter celebrities or power users to increase their usage could have a big impact on the platform’s overall engagement stats, he says.

Additionally, by offering better features through its own API, Twitter is ultimately helping the platforms that provide it. “If they start opening up their product to brands and agencies like they did with this product we think its a good thing,” says Mehta “They’re going to put more data, more attribution in their APIs that will flow through our product, making it richer.”

That benefit applies not just to large enterprise-focused platforms such as Spredfast, but also to smaller and midsized focused social media marketing platforms such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social, whose features might now be offered directly by Twitter. “Even if Twitter starts to subsume some of these capabilities itself, Hootsuite and Sprout Social will start embedding those offerings more deeper into their products, which benefits Twitter,” says Mehta.

Ultimately, Mehta says he doesn’t believe Twitter would develop products to compete with its platform API partners. “Why would Twitter want to upset its ecosystem?” says Mehta. “At the end of the day, we’re encouraging more investment in Twitter, whether it’s directly through ad spend or indirectly.”

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