Twitter Getting Into Mobile Ads With MoPub

Following Facebook's lead, Twitter has begun selling ads, within its app, that encourage consumers to try out other mobile apps.

What's the best place to introduce mobile users to new apps they may like? Inside an app they're already using is the growing consensus.

Twitter followed Facebook's lead April 17, with the introduction of a new suite of mobile app promotion tools that marketers and developers can use to drive app installations and engagement.

Via a single interface, advertisers can run simultaneous campaigns on Twitter (reaching 241 million-plus active users) or off it (reaching 1 billion mobile devices), the company announced.

"We have developed a full suite of targeting, creative and measurement tools to enable Twitter advertisers to effectively promote their mobile apps," Kelton Lynn, Twitter's revenue product manager, wrote in a blog post.

"These are being tested in a private beta, and you may have already seen some examples of these app promotions on Twitter," he continued. "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."

The offering is integrated with MoPub Marketplace, a sort of match-making service between advertisers and developers that Twitter purchased last September for an undisclosed sum rumored to be around $300 million. MoPub's real-time bidding (RTB) capabilities enable bidders to "quote a price for your ad impressions the moment they're available and take advantage of data and machine learning to optimize their bids in real time," the company explains.

Advertisers can set up campaigns on and reach thousands of apps, plus the 1 billion monthly devices that MoPub reaches each month, Lynn said in his post.

"Advertising campaigns run across the Twitter Publisher Network are automatically translated into programmatic bids on the MoPub exchange, on a level playing field with MoPub's existing DSP [demand-side platform] partners," he added.

The post included testimonials from happy customers such as Rich Pleeth, vice president of global marketing for GetTaxi, a black car-hailing app. "Twitter has jumped to be our number-one acquisition channel. … Not only have we seen stellar results, but we've learned some great insights," he said.

In October 2012, Facebook began offering mobile app install ads to all developers, saying that some partners who had participated in a beta version of the program had seen a 50 increase in conversion rates.

In January, Facebook announced quarterly earnings results that included a 76 percent year-over-year increase in ad revenue. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company had received a strong response to its offer for app-install ads.

"That's grown incredibly quickly and is one of the best parts of the ad work that we did over the last year," Zuckerberg told analysts and investors.

The Move Away From App Stores

Frustrated developers are no longer content to trust that users will find their offerings within increasingly crowded app stores. Some of the larger game developers have been striking deals with Apple and Google, as a way to receive premium placement on their stores' home pages and features lists, The Wall Street Journal reported April 20.

In exchange, the developers are making their games exclusive to one platform for a negotiated length of time.

According to the report, such deals also offer the platform makers a new bit of leverage in a highly competitive market, as consumers' attachment to games shouldn't be underestimated.

"When people love a game, and it's not available on an alternate platform, they'll change platforms," Emily Greer, head of the GameStop-owned gaming service Kongregate, told The Journal. "The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything."

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