Twitter appears to have dodged Facebook's mobile problem

65 percent of Twitter's ad revenue comes from mobile devices

Twitter's sign at its headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco
Twitter's sign at its headquarters on Market Street in San Francisco

Twitter has fewer users and less revenue than Facebook, but in mobile advertising Twitter appears to have dodged the problems that dragged down Facebook's stock after its public offering last year.

Sixty-five percent of Twitter's ad revenue comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the company revealed Thursday in documents filed for its initial public offering.

That's about 65 percentage points more than Facebook generated from mobile advertising when it went public last year. At the time of its IPO, Facebook said it didn't directly generate any meaningful revenue from mobile, causing big problems for its stock.

Twitter said it's experienced strong growth in mobile ad revenue because user engagement, as measured by timeline views, is higher on mobile applications than on the desktop.

"We expect this trend to continue," the company said.

It's perhaps not surprising Twitter is doing better in mobile: The 140-character limit in its tweets comes from its origins as an SMS-based messaging system.

Facebook has since improved its mobile ad business. Last quarter it said it got 41 percent of its ad revenue from mobile devices.

Twitter broadly defines timeline views as the total number of timelines requested when registered users visit Twitter, refresh a timeline or view search results while logged into its website.

There is a caveat, though. Twitter said two types of ads -- promoted accounts and promoted trends -- are seen by fewer users on mobile compared to desktop. Therefore, "advertising revenue per timeline view may be adversely impacted even if total advertising revenue continues to increase," the company said.

Twitter started putting different types of advertising content on its iOS and Android-based apps in February of last year, and has since expanded to include ads on other mobile apps.

Twitter generated total sales of about US$317 million last year, the documents show, 85 percent of which was generated through ads. Facebook reported annual sales for 2012 of roughly $5 billion.

A major chunk of Twitter's users are active on mobile: three-quarters of the company's "average monthly active users," Twitter's IPO documents said.

Sustaining its number of users on mobile, and continually growing its advertising there, will be among Twitter's challenges in the years ahead, the company said in its filing.

Twitter will list its stock under the symbol "TWTR," on either the Nasdaq Global Select Market or the New York Stock Exchange.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

10 ways of changing your culture through self-awareness

Did you hear about the manager who always shot the messenger whenever they brought bad news? He eventually stopped hearing bad news. Unfortunately for him, this wasn’t because there was none to report.

Steve Glaveski

Co-founder, Collective Campus

How to create a compelling customer experience vision

Organisations are seeking new ways to engage customers, drive new sales and increase customer satisfaction by providing engaging customer experiences. A customer experience initiative that lacks a strong, clear vision often fails to achieve its intended result.

Olive Huang

Research director, Gartner

Marketers are driving our innovation ecosystem

The Government's newly released National Innovation and Science Agenda shows that for economic growth to continue within Australia, an 'innovation ecosystem' must be fostered, where new businesses with new ideas are encouraged to grow and flourish. With every company wanting to increase, retain or improve their customers’ experiences, this makes marketing vital to fuelling Australia's ideas boom.

Lee Tonitto

CEO, Australian Marketing Institute

Agreed. I see the opposite problem quite often where people are tasked in an organisation just with "be creative" - thus offering no boun...

Dr Fiona Kerr

The great debate: Is data killing creativity?

Read more

By far, this is the best article I've come across so far that has a relevant information regarding the future of marketing. Although the ...

Jayden Chu

​Six ways to prepare for the future of digital marketing

Read more

These are some good ideas. You didn't touch on the overarching goals and results of brand loyalty. This article does a good job at provid...

hgsupport

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

This read like a PR PLUG for the agency. Very flowery language for the agency and very little details about the deal or the project.

Digital_Marketer

Why Tourism Victoria decided to go agile

Read more

This is a rather useful article! This prediction made in the digital marketing trend is very important to improve the service that the ag...

Adam Way

Digital marketing predictions – Part 2: Getting the strategy right

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in