April 18, 2014
Twitter Starts Selling Mobile App Promotions
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Last November Twitter made quite the splash with its IPO, but since that time hasn’t exactly been a stock market darling. One of the reasons has been the fact that since its inception the micro-blogging service – known for allowing users to share 140 character updates – hasn’t turned a profit.
The social media company has steadily made efforts to address this issue, and on Thursday took a significant step to broaden its advertising business. Twitter will soon offer mobile ads that urge people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year for a reported $350 million. Twitter announced that it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through MoPub, which now places ads inside of hundreds of apps.
“This offering gives marketers unparalleled scale across the mobile ecosystem,” Kelton Lynn, product manager for revenue at Twitter, wrote on Thursday on the company’s official blog. “The MoPub Marketplace reaches more than 1 billion unique devices and handles more than 130 billion ad requests inside Android and iOS applications every 30 days, making it one of the largest mobile ad exchanges in the world. Advertisers can now choose to run simultaneous marketing campaigns to more than 241 million active users on Twitter, and to more than 1 billion mobile devices off-Twitter, through one interface at ads.twitter.com.”
Lynn further noted that Twitter has developed a full suite of targeting, creative and measurement tools that could enable Twitter advertisers to effectively promote their mobile apps. Currently he added that these are being tested in a private beta, and as a result some users may have already seen some examples of these app promotions on Twitter.
“For marketers, this means a rich, native ad unit that combines the best of Twitter Cards and Promoted Tweets. Users can easily install and engage with apps, directly from the Twitter timeline,” Lynn added.
Twitter shares were reportedly up about 3.6 percent, or $1.60 to $46.02, in stock trading following the announcement. Twitter will report first-quarter earnings on April 29.
Mobile is currently a key piece of Twitter’s business and according to Businessweek generates more than 75 percent of its advertising revenue.
Twitter rival Facebook has also steadily worked to build up its mobile presence and as Reuters noted on Thursday, “Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has in the past repeatedly identified app-install ads as a significant source of revenue for the world's No. 1 social network, although Facebook has never disclosed the precise amount in its financial results.”
While Twitter has only a quarter the number of users as Facebook, it is now straining to add more. With its new mobile-advertising product Twitter could reach a number of eyeballs that rivals the users on Facebook. Reaching more people via mobile could help Twitter actually become profitable.
As Recode.net reported, “Industry observers think that app ads are one of the main reasons that Facebook went from zero mobile revenue to a ton of mobile revenue, and may account for half of Facebook’s mobile ad money today. That’s more than a billion dollars a quarter.”