Twitter unveiled some early screenshots of its long-time-coming analytics product this past week.  Here’s the quick download from Argyle:

About What We Expected

Google Analytics is an obvious parallel.  And just like AdWords was a key driver behind Google’s decision to make Analytics a free offering, Twitter Analytics is about Twitter advertising.  Note that roughly half of the application is about tracking your promoted Tweets.  Advertising is Twitter’s big play and analytics are a necessity for any ad platform.

The per-tweet metrics should be helpful – in particular the impression counts.  Will be interesting to see what actually makes the first release and how it all ties together.  At first glance, this is a looong way from becoming an enterprise reporting platform.

Editors Note:  Even though Google Analytics is free, there is a booming market for high-end web analytics offerings – Omniture, Webtrends, Unica, Teradata, SAS, Coremetrics, and on, and on – and even more innovation at the low-end of the markent – Chartbeat, KISS Metrics, Crazy Egg.  Assuming that the data remains “open”, I think you’ll see a similar ecosystem around social analytics.

Bad News For Twitter Apps

There are 100s of apps built on the Twitter API that provide some level of Twitter usage data.  And they’re pretty much screwed right now.  Twitter has a pretty big homefield advantage when it comes to data from…err…Twitter.

Frankly, I was a little surprised at first that Twitter would make a strategic decision to stomp on such a big segment of its developer ecosystem, especially given its social arms race against Facebook.  But it had to happen.  Per Section 1 – advertising is Twitter’s big play and analytics are a necessity for any ad platform.  Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Good For The Industry

Twitter’s investment in an analytics product further validates that social is – or at least will become – a number-driven channel. I just hope that marketers will finally stop blabbing about engagement and conversations and start talking about numbers and outcomes.  We’ll all be better off for it.  :)

Good For Argyle

Yes – we think this is a fantastic development for Argyle.  And not just because of the philosophical validation.  Twitter Analytics creates more data – and more problems! – for marketers.  Data that needs context, aggregation, and such. Social media marketers are already wrestling data from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights, Bit.ly, and elsewhere.  For many, Twitter’s analytics platform will be just another forkful of noodles added to the bowl of data-spaghetti.

Assuming that Twitter makes some or all of this information available via API – which it has done with every other product to date – we’ll make sure that Argyle drinks in Twitter data alongside of everything else.

As far as the long-term, we think that Twitter Analytics will be one of many lenses that marketers use to measure the effectiveness of their social media marketing campaigns.  And we think it will help drive more innovation in the social media analytics space.

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