Twitter makes a case for mobile advertising, but leaves out key details

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Twitter lucked out: The social network was “born mobile” since it was inspired by SMS and text messaging, as Twitter’s co-head of advertising research Taylor Schreiner explained in a blog post. And as we all know many of our online activities are conducted on mobile devices, so much so that “mobile is often the primary way people around the globe experience Twitter.” Even still, many advertisers are unable to figure out a mobile strategy have been scratching their heads and wondering if dedicating ad dollars to mobile is even worth it. Despite apprehension, these brands even today continue to advertise for a smaller screen because everyone else is doing it and choosing not to would be to choose not to compete. This type of mindset isn’t such a great outlook for mobile advertising, so Twitter published a report today in conjunction with Compete and it is chock full of reasons for why advertisers should be attracted to advertising on mobile over desktops. Increased engagement and more time spent are just the beginning; according to Twitter: 

  1. “Many Twitter users rarely access Twitter on desktop,” says Schreiner. In fact, 86 percent are more likely to be on Twitter multiple times per day than the “average” Twitter user, 57 percent of users on Twitter’s mobile devices are less likely to use Twitter on the desktop. And 15 percent of mobile users are on Twitter via a tablet.
  2. 52 percent of Twitter’s mobile users are made up of users between 18 and 34 years old. Twitter makes a note here and recommends targeting this age range and their interests.
  3. Twitter’s mobile users are addicted to Twitter, at least that’s what Schreiner is insinuating, although the facts would support this sentiment. Mobile users are 157 percent more likely to use Twitter after waking up in the morning, and 129 percent more likely before bed. No surprise here, the chances that mobile Twitter users will use the social network during their commutes is three times greater than the average user, and mobile users will be 160 percent more likely to use Twitter after work or school.  As a secondary point, Schreiner identified that 62 percent of mobile users will be communicating with friends or family that are physically located near them, and 66 percent of users are on Twitter in front of the TV likely tweeting thoughts, responses, or using Twitter during commercial breaks.
  4. Mobile Twitter users engage with tweets and the evidence supporting this is overwhelming. Mobile users are 57 percent more likely to create original tweets, 63 percent more likely to click on links, 78 percent more likely to retweet, and 85 percent more likely to favorite a tweet, says Schreiner.
  5. So what do all these stats amount to? We can see where it’s conveniently converging, and the statistics all point to mobile being a better channel to advertising on: “Users who primarily access Twitter on mobile are 96 percent more likely to follow 11 or more brands. They are also 58 percent more likely to recall seeing an ad on Twitter than the average Twitter user.”

Regardless of mobile advertising on other platforms like Facebook for instance, Twitter wants advertisers to shift the bulk of their marketing budgets to mobile. But while Twitter’s claims of increased engagement and time spent on its mobile client seem to be great in theory, there are a couple of key figures that the social network has obviously left out (and maybe attempted to veil amid these numbers). What’s really important are numbers like the click through rate from promoted tweets and percentage of sales generated from these ads. Until the data that matters is revealed, the market at large will likely remain somewhat skeptical about mobile advertising. 

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