In 2013 Twitter made one of the shrewdest investments of the year by purchasing mobile ad exchange company MoPub. The company specialised in providing in-app advertising across a wide range of network apps, offering promoted tweets and videos.
This acquisition meant that Twitter suddenly has the ability to offer advertising on both their growing social network and within third-party apps – expanding their potential audience reach from 300 million to 700 million users.
So what’s the story, how does it work?
In short, the new system will allow advertisers to run paid tweets or sponsor video content within apps. When the app user sees the sponsored tweet or video they can hit ‘retweet’ to share the tweet with their followers and/or click on the advert to visit the company’s landing page.
This new format will dramatically extend the reach of promoted tweets, driving brand affinity through social media while delivering the same great results as traditional in-app advertising. But, to make the most of this new functionality, brands will have to develop the way they use promoted tweets and in-app advertising, more closely integrating ad copy, video, landing pages and supporting social media activity.
Is this really that revolutionary?
It might not sound it, but the new feature is set to shape a new era of advertising. As the battle between browsers, advertising networks and ad blockers wages on, Twitter is sidestepping the entire war by integrating advertising with social media and apps. Ultimately, users are spending more time on mobile devices playing on apps while they increasingly using ad-blocking software on desktop browsers. Advertising platforms are responding to this by focusing more on apps, where advertising cannot currently be blocked.
What’s more, in April 2015 Google’s subsidiary Doubleclick did a deal with Twitter to integrate promoted Tweets into the Doubleclick Bid Manager. This move made it much easier to measure the effectiveness of Twitter campaigns.
You might be wondering why Google would support a rival advertising network, but really they had little choice. Doubleclick knows that they must support Twitter advertising in order to keep up with the needs of real-time deployment and measurement of digital advertising.
Apple also seems to have noticed that where we go looking for ‘information’ has shifted dramatically, adapting the way their internal search works for apps work to provide deep-search functionality. It will be interesting to see how the ‘traditional’ search facilities respond to this.
Will these new in app ads be searchable? Do developers even know how to make apps optimised, crawlable and indexable ready for this deep-search? And how quickly will targeting options mature?
For those of us that are old enough to have watched the evolution of search develop in the nineties, there are lessons to be learned (and passed on!). I’m sure we’ll see history repeat itself many times over in the years to come as these fledgling tech platforms begin to mature.
It’s exciting times.