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Twitter Accelerates Experimentation and Mobile Advertising; Plans for IPO




Mad_scientist.svgTwitter made a couple of interesting announcements this week that hint at strategic growth in a couple of areas. First, they bought mobile-focused advertising exchange MoPub. This company has a mobile app that allows publishers to manage their ad inventory on the fly.

Says Twitter:

The two major trends in the ad world right now are the rapid consumer shift toward mobile usage, and the industry shift to programmatic buying. Twitter sits at the intersection of these, and we think by bringing MoPub’s technology and team to Twitter, we can further drive these trends for the benefit of consumers, advertisers, and agencies.

The MoPub team has built a leading mobile ad exchange, and their focus on providing transparency to advertisers and publishers aligns with our values. We’ll continue to invest in and improve their core business. In particular, we think there is a key opportunity to extend many types of native advertising across the mobile ecosystem through the MoPub exchange.

We also plan to use MoPub’s technology to build real-time bidding into the Twitter ads platform so our advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys. We’ll maintain the same high quality standards that define our platform today. Our approach is to show an ad when we think it will be useful or interesting to a user, and that isn’t changing.

People smarter than me say that this is Twitter’s opening into mobile advertising on platforms other than their own. Word is, MoPub will continue to develop native in-app and in-game advertising while matching developers with advertisers. If it works out, Twitter can position itself as a big player in online advertising expanding far beyond their 140 character reach.

Experimentation

This morning, engineer Alex warned the world that they might see some changes on Twitter in the near future. But don’t be afraid. It’s just an accelerated round of testing designed to figure out exactly what they can and cannot do before people cry stop!

We also experiment with features that may never be released to everyone who uses Twitter. Those experiments are perhaps even more valuable because they help us decide what not to do –– which is important as we work to keep Twitter simple while improving the user experience. Ultimately, our goal is to learn and keep making the product better; we aren’t necessarily looking to launch all of the experiments we roll out.

In recent months, that trend has picked up –– so much so that it’s rare for a day to go by when we’re not releasing at least one experiment. We’re able to run tests more frequently because we’ve built a more robust experimentation framework, which we use to run tests not only on the web, but also in our mobile apps: Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android. With the majority of our users accessing Twitter from a mobile device, it’s important for us to be able to test on mobile. Over time, you’ll continue to see us test and introduce new features first on mobile. For example, we recently introduced the people button which suggests accounts for you to follow.

So what does this mean for you? You may see some features that your friend doesn’t see, or vice versa. This is all in service of making Twitter the best it can be. We appreciate your help in doing that, so thank you.

Why the rush?

That’s why.

This baby bird is finally ready to leave the nest.

Good luck.

 

  • HBK

    As much as I hate to lavish praise on social networks – FB, Twitter, LinkedIn – for doing little more than copying what the most effective ad networks – Airpush, MM, etc. – are doing, I have to say anyone who is smart enough to recognize the value (today) in mobile RTB deserves some credit. It’s early, but mobile RTB is going to be the next big thing in mobile advertising and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that… http://www.airpush.com/what-is-mobile-rtb-and-why-should-i-care/