Twitter Follows Facebook into the Lucrative Mobile App Install Game
A few weeks ago I tweeted out a beta version of Twitter’s new mobile app install ad unit that I came across.
Well yesterday Twitter officially announced their app install ads with a new mobile app promotion suite.
Twitter says advertisers will now be able to use one interface (ads.twitter.com) to buy ads targeted at both Twitter’s 241 million monthly active users and more than 1 billion mobile devices served by the MoPub advertising exchange.
It’s a move that isn’t exactly surprising. When Twitter bought MoPub in October, they hinted that expanding MoPub’s app install ads was part of the plan. As I wrote then, MoPub brings a ton of value to Twitter and I think was a big reason why the IPO did so well (although the stock has since been hit hard along with a lot of other tech momentum names).
Granted, Twitter is coming in a bit late to this game. Facebook launched its mobile app install product in late 2012. At the time I thought these install ads would have some potential. But I had no idea how massive they would become for Facebook.
It’s hard to say exactly how lucrative they are (I’ve heard various rumors) since Facebook doesn’t break down their mobile revenue by product. But they did hit a major milestone last quarter when they crossed the halfway point and now earn 53% of ad revenue from mobile, or $1.37 billion out of its $2.59 billion.
Here’s how Mark Zuckerberg put it in January:
“We’re finding that people also really want to buy a lot of app install ads, and that’s grown incredibly quickly and is one of the best parts of the ad work that we did over the last year.”
I can attest to this as well. Anecdotally, a few marketers I’ve talked to have told me Facebook continues to outperform and now accounts for a good 40-60% of their entire user acquisition and CPI budget. If you are an indie app developer with a bit of a marketing budget (say under $100k), my advice: go straight to Facebook and maybe soon, Twitter. It just doesn’t make sense to spend anywhere else.
This week’s news makes it obvious why Twitter spent $350 million in stock for MoPub last year. The difference in scale of Twitter standalone vs. Twitter + MoPub is substantial. Once you add in MoPub, advertisers now get access to over 1 billion potential devices — which is on the same scale as Facebook can offer.
And as I mentioned before, it’s probably a no-brainer for Twitter to also follow Facebook into what I think is the next big trend in advertising: mobile app re-engagement ads.
It’s still very early but in a few years I think we’ll look back on the MoPub acquisition as one of the better acquisitions in mobile. Should be fun to chart Twitter’s rise in mobile the same way we’ve done with Facebook.Also: Facebook’s Rise In Mobile (In Charts)