The Killer Mobile Ad Platform Canadian Brands Might Be Missing

This week Boomberg reported that Twitter is outpacing both Facebook and Google in the percent of revenue it generates from mobile platforms.

Social networks are keen to monetize advertising on mobile as this is a key growth area, not just because more people are buying smartphones and tablets but also because consumers are increasingly consuming online content on mobile platforms.

Twitter’s unique positioning in mobile intuitively makes sense. Facebook’s ads inserted into timelines are jarring and annoying – they don’t fit the cardinal rule of social, which is to respect the platform. For Google, the challenge may be that mobile users are more likely to be consuming content directly through an ap, rather than running searches on Google’s home page.

Promoted tweets on Twitter work because they are text only, short, relatively innocuous, and flagged as promoted. Twitter seems to also be involved in directing editorial to ensure the content fits the tone and style that Twitter users are used to. What are the implications for Canadian advertisers? First, Twitter is uniquely positioned as a platform for engaging audiences in social. As comScore reports, over 62% of Canadians own a smartphone.   I think leaves the door open for advertisers to start leveraging Twitter to reach mobile users at this key early stage, both allowing the advertiser to learn and experiment and positioning the brand as first out the gate. (As an aside, comScore’s report on Canada’s digital consumer landscape for 2012 and 2013 can be found here and is both comprehensive and easy to scan – well worth a read).

Hootsuite is one brand with promoted tweets running. It’s a perfect fit for the brand. Here is an example:

hootsuite tweet


In 2012 social networking in Canada grew only 3% as a category. Twitter is the second largest social network in Canada. But as we move forward the black box is mobile. How will content consumption change? Canadian advertisers should keep a close eye on mobile units sold and be prepared to shift strategies to engage consumers on the sofa, at their desk, or on the bus.

Twitter might be the killer ad platform poised to do just that.