Facebook And Twitter Look To Boost Mobile Ads

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FacebookFacebook has added another weapon in its mobile ad quiver, announcing Wednesday in a blog post that it is testing a mobile ad network with a group of advertisers and publishers that uses Facebook’s targeting capabilities to place ads in third-party apps.

Brad Smallwood, VP of measurements and insights, declined to provide additional information about the test during AdExchanger’s Industry Preview 2014, except to note that the company will be testing the ad network as a “limited trial.”

If this new mobile ad product proves as successful as the Install ads released in October 2012 – a unit that allows a consumer to download a mobile app via Google Play or Apple’s App Store – Facebook will likely be thrilled.

Clients have said the targeting features of the Install ads are particularly useful and they were among the few ad products that remained standing after the company announced plans to overhaul its ad offerings. Smallwood agreed: “Our mobile app install product is successful and app providers are appreciative of it.”

Facebook, however, faces stiff competition from Twitter, which is also building out its mobile ad products. Jim Payne, VP of exchange at Twitter and a former MoPub CEO, discussed his strategy for helping advertisers further leverage Twitter’s user data at Industry Preview, saying, “We want to connect the data assets that Twitter has … to allow people who are doing retargeting to marry their data with our signal and create new targeting opportunities on the MoPub exchange for things like commerce and other activities, like app installs.”

As an example, Payne said the company has been working on an improved video ad format for mobile publishers.

“When we told publishers we’ve got this video product that is 15 seconds long and nonskippable, publishers on mobile know that’s a surefire way to lose your users,” Payne said. “So we’ve been trying to move toward a YouTube model where there’s only a short period of time that you can’t skip and that type of format will most likely be more successful on mobile.”

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