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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

That’s great! While 95% of customer value high-quality support over speed, delivering both is vital in this competitive age. Integrating ...

Akansh M

Foxtel debuts in-app messaging chat to improve customer service

Read more

Thanks for the post

Ashirwad Towers

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

Like we have been growing in technology since the first industrial revolution and never stopping but when it comes to businesses around t...

Bhooshan Shetty

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Read more

Was really informative. Customer retention is very important for companies as retaining customers are simpler compared to making new ones...

Bhooshan Shetty

Gartner survey: CMO spending hit by COVID-19

Read more

Couldn't agree more!The way AI and machine learning as evolved over these years, it has completely changed the look of marketing and cust...

Bhooshan Shetty

Marketing 2030 and the rise of the machines

Read more

Blog Posts

Life beyond the cookie: 5 steps to mapping the future of marketing measurement

​There’s no denying there’s been a whirlwind of response to the imminent demise of the third-party cookie from all parts of the industry. But as we’ve collectively come to better understand the implications, it’s clear this change is giving the digital advertising industry the opportunity to re-think digital marketing to support core industry use cases, while balancing consumer privacy.

Natalie Stanbury

Director of research, IAB Australia

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in