MoPub Is Testing Ways To Do More With Twitter Data

After years of will they/won’t they, MoPub is finally going to take better advantage of Twitter data.

The mobile exchange, acquired by Twitter in 2013, is testing so-called audience packages in the form of audience segments powered by proprietary data coming from Twitter. The product is in alpha with a select set of partners.

“The Twitter data is actually a subset of all of the data that comes through the Twitter fire hose,” said MoPub VP Janae McDonough at a round table at Twitter’s New York headquarters on Monday.

For the moment, the segments are fairly broad, like “sports lovers” or “music lovers,” for example, but the potential is there to do more. MoPub sees roughly 450 billion ad requests monthly.

“The MoPub platform sits on troves of data,” McDonough said. “We see a ton of information about user behavior, so combining that with the power of Twitter data and the data marketers are bringing to bear becomes a really interesting proposition.”

Until now, MoPub had remained largely independent from Twitter, operating almost like a startup nested within the larger organization.

Although MoPub had been tapping into interest-based signals coming through Twitter’s fire hose and Twitter’s own demand-side platform, it held back from getting too cozy with its parent company on the data side because of the privacy implications.

Privacy is still top of mind, but as publishers and marketers are willing to share more from a data standpoint, MoPub, and by extension Twitter, need to do the same. Twitter is also likely looking to attract more advertisers in light of declining ad revenue. In Q1 of this year, ad revenue was down 11% year over year.

“The ecosystem is evolving from this safe, closed garden that so many big publishers in the ecosystem have played in, to a world where data can actually leave that garden,” McDonough said.

The fact is, marketers and publishers have data they want to monetize, McDonough said, and they’re “willing to trade for it and exchange on it.”

“We’re going to continue to figure out how to invest and ensure that these types of data assets bring value, [and] you can imagine a world where we start to push the envelope here,” she said. “That also means pushing Twitter – frankly, we have to push Twitter to give us more data and allow us to do this.”

But addressable audiences are only compelling if you can prove that the right people are being reached and that the ads have a chance to be seen, which is why MoPub is also investing more in third-party measurement and verification partnerships.

MoPub partners with Nielsen and comScore for campaign measurement; with Forensiq and The Media Trust for overall exchange quality; and with data providers adsquare and Factual to supplement its targeting capabilities.

In the next few weeks, MoPub is planning to release a new version of its SDK that has Moat and Integral Ad Science already integrated so that MoPub publishers can automatically provide viewability measurement in their apps.

“We know audiences are important to the marketer, but imagine if a marketer could get a viewable audience,” said Meridith Miller, head of commercial partnerships at MoPub. “Marketers need to have a transparent place to spend dollars, and measurement is what enables that transparency.”

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