Mobile // Mobile Applications
News
4/17/2014
04:00 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Twitter Reveals Mobile App Install Ads

With a new ad format, Twitter follows in Facebook's footsteps. App developers will love it, but will users?

Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
Twitter Revamp: 10 Things To Know
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Twitter and Facebook have been headed toward feature parity for several years. Past redesigns and feature additions have taken what works on one social network and applied it to the other. Last year, Facebook implemented its version of Twitter's hashtags, verified profiles, and Vine-like videos in Instagram.

This year, Twitter is returning the favor. On Thursday, the company announced ads that promote the installation of mobile apps.

Mobile app install ads have been a major success at Facebook, and it's not difficult to understand why. App makers face challenges getting anyone to notice their apps among millions of competing apps, and app store owners like Apple don't sell coveted store placement. Any marketing service that can shorten the distance between app makers and app consumers -- by taking consumers directly to mobile app store installation pages, for example -- is likely to attract eager ad buyers.

Twitter is making its mobile app promotion format available on and off Twitter via mobile apps that have integrated the MoPub advertising service. Twitter acquired MoPub last year and now has finally integrated the ad network into its own ad portal. Twitter's share of the worldwide mobile ad market was only 2.4% last year, according to the ad industry metrics firm eMarketer.

[Catch up with the latest changes in LinkedIn. Read LinkedIn Debuts SlideShare App, Mobile Updates.]

Kelton Lynn, product manager at Twitter, said in a blog post, "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."

With a potential reach of 1 billion unique devices and 241 million active Twitter users, Twitter's app installation ads seem promising but remain in private beta testing for US marketers. The company did not say when it expects to open the updated service to all its advertising customers.

(Source: Ron Mader/Flickr)
(Source: Ron Mader/Flickr)

However, it did provide a selection of flattering quotes culled from companies participating in the private beta. "Twitter has jumped to be our number one acquisition channel, we couldn't be happier with the results of the Beta," said Rich Pleeth, vice president of global marketing for the taxi-hailing app GetTaxi. "The engagement rates are remarkable, not only have we seen stellar results, but we've learned some great insights."

Twitter says it has developed a suite of tools for ad creation, targeting, and measurement that are being tested in its private beta.

In February, eMarketer projected that Twitter's user growth will slow over the next few years, and that its user base will become more mature. Though this might not be what growth-oriented shareholders want to hear, eMarketer argues that it's a good sign for ad revenue.

"Twitter's future value is contingent not only on its number of users, but also on the number of users engaging with its ads -- and older users are more likely to do so," the firm said.

Too many companies treat digital and mobile strategies as pet projects. Here are four ideas to shake up your company. Also in the Digital Disruption issue of InformationWeek: Six enduring truths about selecting enterprise software (free registration required).

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
4/19/2014 | 8:59:54 PM
Re: Google or Social media
@Brian Another good point; you have to review the actual usage habits of your target audience. 
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/18/2014 | 8:12:29 PM
Re: Google or Social media
The ability of a social media site to generate revenue is important and the slightest hint that it is possible to do so make speculators to value it highly, Facebook is a good example. A lot depends on Twitter's strategy, if they want to grow their user base followed by delivering ads to users to generate FB type revenue then they will follow one path, if they want to match revenue ratios compared to their user base then another path will be followed and if, Twitter wants to match revenue by delivering higher value through for example, higher user engagement, then it would take another path.

 
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/18/2014 | 7:47:13 PM
Re: Google or Social media
@Ariella, I agree and I also default towards my desktop for the majority of things. The average website would be in a safer place if they kept their site appealing for both desktop and mobile users. There would be instances where it could be considered better to increase the mobile friendliness of a site, but I think that data from user's traffic (admin panel: OS, device and version, etc) should be utilized to make a decision.   
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/18/2014 | 7:46:38 PM
Re: Google or Social media
I agree about mobile and advertising. It can work but it's a poor fit in general. It only takes one ad taking over the screen in a mobile app for me to delete that app and find another.
DaneS255
50%
50%
DaneS255,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/18/2014 | 7:09:50 PM
Re: Google or Social media
I think Twitter is still in good shape and comparisons to Google or Facebook aren't fair or even logical. They're apples and oranges, and Twitter will never have the user base of FB. Two different animals. Twitter just needs to stay focused on ad revenue. Looking back, I think the partnership or acquisition with MoPub was ill advised. There are much better ad networks and companies in the space, like Airpush or maybe even Millennial Media. Twitter just has to stay focused on building its revenue and let the cards fall where they may on user growth. It will stay steady but you can't force Googel or Facebook-type numbers that just aren't going to come.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 7:33:17 PM
Re: Google or Social media
@Brian thanks for that. For myself, I agree. I do like to get information on my big computer screen and wouldn't want to have to peer into a tiny one. But I have to admit that I'm not much of a mobile customer, as I really use my phone for old-fashioned calling.  Do you think, then, that all those poeple who optimize for mobile should also be careful to keep their sites also appealing to desktop users? 
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 7:21:58 PM
Re: Google or Social media
@Ariella, I feel that desktops and the internet is still the king of the advertisement industry because it presences greater real estate and users are comfortable with navigating back and forth, and multi-tasking. Mobile devices have made navigation and multi tasking easier, but comparatively, it is not as good as desktops. Facebook's newsfeeds is interesting, as it allows ads to function in a similar way on both platforms, other than that I think that users don't click on in-app ads especially if the app is a heavy game.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 6:49:07 PM
Re: Google or Social media
@Brian you make a good point about mobile.  If it is not ideal for now, what is? 
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
4/17/2014 | 6:15:44 PM
Google or Social media
Delivering 130 billion ads in a month is huge. Mobile is not the most ideal place to be in the ad business because of limited real estate however, the number of mobile users is only going to increase globally in the future. I wonder whether Google (its ad business) will make any changes, so that it does not miss the boat.
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.