Australian media buyers have welcomed Twitter's acquisition of mobile advertising exchange MoPub, in a move that will see it integrate real-time buying within its advertising platform.
However, one social media expert has warned Twitter that it’ll need to tread carefully in terms of its attempts to monetise the platform without upsetting its users.
Twitter yesterday agreed to purchase the ad exchange startup for $350 million prior to its reported IPO planned for next year.
Kevin Weil, vice president of Twitter's revenue product, said in a blog post: "MoPub’s technology allows mobile application publishers to manage their inventories and optimise multiple sources of advertising such as direct ads, house ads, ad network, and real-time bidding through MoPub market place."
Media buyers here believe Twitter's acquisition of MoPub shows its commitment to building real-time bidding into its ad platform, which will spell good news for marketers, who will be able to more easily automate and scale their buys.
"This is a smart acquisition for Twitter,” Peter Hunter, head of digital at PHD, told B&T. "And a positive move toward programmatic buying on mobile, especially as the race heats up between the social platforms to monetise their audiences."
Ciar√°n Norris (pictured), chief digital officer at Mindshare Australia, said Twitter’s purchase of MoPub shows that it truly has aspirations to be an ad platform.
"Not only does this potentially accelerate the development of Twitter’s own ad-products, by integrating real-time bidding capabilities to Twitter, essentially allowing DSP activity to occur on the site and its mobile versions, but also suggests that Twitter might have aspirations in becoming a facilitator of advertising as well,” said Norris
He said the move finally opens up the intriguing possibility that Twitter might be considering creating its own version of AdSense, "which would involve actual Twitter ads (promoted tweets or similar) appearing on third parties".
"As Twitter continues to tie up deals with major TV players, allowing it to tap into the surging pre-roll market, that could be another very interesting way of making this deal pay for itself,” he added.
However, Julian Ward, managing director at We Are Social, voiced caution about disturbing Twitter’s loyal user base.
“Twitter has to tread carefully in terms of its attempts to monetise the platform, so this is a big deal,” said Ward. “The most important thing is that it doesn't upset its users”.
Ward added that whilst the acquisition of MoPub on the surface looks like a move to provide a more mature mobile focused commercial model, and a massive existing exchange customer base, “the real potential is around increasing the sophistication of the socially data driven native targeting, scaled within the exchange and real time bidding capabilities, enhancing the potential to drive higher yields and more effective targeting – at scale”.
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