Agencies React: MoPub Buy ‘Reclassifies’ Twitter

Twitter-MoPubTwitter’s acquisition of mobile ad exchange MoPub adds a new layer to its strategy.

In addition to selling native ad units, Twitter will become a seller of standardized mobile ads as well — perhaps with its own user data thrown into the mix.

“Buying MoPub reclassifies Twitter beyond a social platform, or even a broadcast platform with social capabilities to a true player in the rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem,” said Andrea Wolinetz, managing director for connected platforms at PHD.

AdExchanger reached out to several digital and mobile agencies to get their perspective on what Twitter’s acquisition means to them and how a mobile exchange can work with the Twitter platform.

Click below or scroll down to read their responses. 

Darren Herman, chief digital media officer, kbs+ The Media Kitchen & president, kbs+ Ventures

“The MoPub acquisition by Twitter signals a few things to multiple marketplace constituents.  For the ad-tech community, it signals that Twitter is going to look at both large (MoPub) and smaller acquisitions and if they bought MoPub, they certainly are not done. For the marketer/agency community, it signals that Twitter is no doubt doubling down on mobile and programmatic, so agency trading desks should start to see some Twitter inventory in the not-too-distant future. And, lastly, for the financial market community of which Twitter will be responding to very soon (speculation still), it signals a growth opportunity of which they can build into.”

JiYoung Kim, senior vice president, strategy and new solutions, Ansible Mobile

“From our perspective, we hope the acquisition is not so much about Twitter being able to improve on mobile ad exchanges, but about giving mobile-social ads the automation to respond in real time at greater scale. Social, especially mobile-led social, has the wonderful ability to enable conversations in the “now” for brands. Twitter is already as real-time as media gets, but the boost in automation can be incredibly powerful for advertising.”

Eric Mugnier, senior vice president, North America, M&C Saatchi Mobile

“Twitter’s purchase of MoPub is highly significant for a few reasons. Firstly, it underscores the tipping point that mobile has experienced in the last year with social media, mainly with Facebook now becoming a ‘mobile-first company,’ and this is being reflected by Twitter. As Twitter is still not public we don’t have the luxury of numbers but our own experience is bearing this out in terms of the growth of social media as an advertising platform.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, MoPub has developed real-time bidding technology, which we see as the rapidly emerging future of mobile advertising. The fact that MoPub CEO Jim Payne has said that he will become Twitter’s vice president of exchange speaks volumes about the key role that real-time bidding will have in the future of Twitter as a publisher. Finally, MoPub also has location-based advertising technology. The ability to target by location is the defining USP of the mobile device as well as a core factor in brands selecting targets in real time. All in all, Twitter’s acquisition is a good indicator of the acceleration of the major trends that we see in mobile at the moment in terms of real-time bidding, location-based advertising and the growth of dominance of social media advertising on mobile.

With the increasing interest and efficiency within the mobile space of social and real-time bidding platforms this deal will help Twitter with the monetization of their mobile inventory and advertisers to reach Twitter users with more scale and efficiency.”

Andrea Wolinetz, managing director for connected platforms, PHD

“Buying MoPub pushes them [Twitter] to being a true player in the evolving mobile ecosystem. They seem to have really thought about how they are going to evolve their ad products to push the boundaries of their platform. Buying MoPub reclassifies Twitter beyond a social platform, or even a broadcast platform with social capabilities to a true player in the rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem. We’ve seen a trend of consolidation within the mobile marketplace, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more over the next few months, but Twitter’s acquisition looks like a win for them.”

Doug Chavez, SVP Emerging Media, Universal McCann

“Mobile traffic is growing nearly 2x each year and by the end of 2013 it will be nearly 15% of total Internet traffic. Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub creates an end-to-end real-time advertising juggernaut across the open web vs. ad solutions solely focused within a Twitter experience. MoPub’s audience scale and Twitter’s fire hose of consumer intent is going to enable advertisers the ability to reach consumers at the moment of intent on a massive scale. This is where the puck is going and Twitter is building the platform to deliver ad solutions that advertisers want while maintaining an unblemished user experience for their users.

Twitter has long needed to acquire a mobile exchange, so they can match up their fire hose of consumer intent with massive audience scale across the mobile landscape. There are plenty of partners to choose from, they picked a leader with the audience scale and revenue run rate that is best suited to Twitter’s revenue growth goals. But the real competitive advantage is the marriage of real time consumer intent with audience scale – that will be a hard one-two punch to compete with. Twitter’s summer of acquisitions show us just the tip of a real-time advertising platform about to explode with ad solutions and drive revenue growth.”

David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer, MRY

“Twitter’s playing offense here, putting itself in a stronger position ahead of its likely initial public offering. Twitter could have used this to take a coveted mobile ad server off the market and bolster its own mobile ad capabilities. Instead, Twitter seems to be looking for a larger ad footprint, keeping MoPub running as a platform. One area that will be fascinating is watching what Twitter does with MoPub’s data. MoPub is in the business of optimizing mobile ad performance, so it’s possible that more social signals from Twitter could be used as a way to determine which ads are most effective.”

Jason Pope, vice president, AOD Mobile, VivaKi

“This acquisition verifies the importance of mobile and confirms the shift toward programmatic buying. It will allow Twitter to extend its reach beyond its owned and operated properties and into the open RTB.

Should MoPub remain a mobile display ads supply source, its data offering could become one of the best in the market. If Twitter threads its social data through MoPub’s inventory and it remains on the open RTB, advertisers will have access to extremely rich customer intent data. Additionally, a good percentage of tweets are posted with GPS data, making MoPub now a primary source of location data.

If Twitter does not allow its data to be accessed via open RTB, it starts to look a lot like Facebook’s late Q4 2012 foray into the mobile ad network space. Twitter can access mobile display inventory, overlay first-party data sets, and suddenly it becomes one of the largest mobile ad networks with the greatest ability to target audiences. Though Facebook shuttered this test (with MoPub as one of the participants) after just a couple months, Twitter will soon be able to make the same boast. As such, MoPub gains better data, Twitter becomes a major mobile ad network player. By doing so, Twitter is able to offer advertisers a standard display banner option in addition to Twitter’s native advertising, promoted tweets, etc.

In addition, this will greatly help Twitter scale its ad operations by integrating MoPub’s RTB technology into the Twitter ad platform. This will enable advertisers to scale larger ad buys and cut down on some of the friction currently associated with running campaigns on Twitter.”

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