Today’s Burning Question: Reaction to Twitter’s Native Ad Move


ADOTAS — Today, we asked our panel of ad industry experts the following Burning Question: “What are your thoughts on Twitter’s $50 million acquisition of Namo Media?”

Here’s how they responded:

“If we’re learning anything at all in the digital ad world here in mid-2014 it’s that Native advertising is an approach that actually is working, for publishers and advertisers alike. Clearly, for Twitter, Native is their future and by acquiring Namo they hope to make Native and mobile actually work together in an exchange environment so it can scale for them. While not the first with the capability, it shows they are committed.” — Lon Otremba, CEO, Bidtellect.

“The mobile advertising market is booming now and Twitter is looking to get a larger piece of the pie, so the astute investment in purchasing Nano Media is a step in the right direction. Cost per installs from the Twitter app card is still far more expensive than other social networks app installs and our initial Twitter campaigns with our clients showed mixed results. It makes sense for Twitter to build more native ads so advertisements can appear either on Twitter or their ad exchange, MoPub.” — Guillaume Lelait, VP of North America, Fetch.

“Twitter’s acquisition of Namo Media is a smart move. Native mobile advertising is a green field with multiple angles of execution. However, mobile users rarely intentionally click on ads, and mobile ads show a high rate of accidental clicks. Articles are often zoomed by consumers to exclude advertising content on the sides. Flash, the software language used for most ads, simply doesn’t work on most mobile devices. Twitter’s acquisition of Namo Media gives them a laser focus on native ads within apps, which can be much more effective than traditional mobile display buys. With the possibility of heightened targeting, this mobile expansion into native app ads gives Twitter a unique edge into the mobile native ad space.” — LuRae Lumpkin, VP Global Paid Media, Covario.

“Twitter’s focus on the monetization of content on their mobile platform is paramount if they are to see the kind revenue growth numbers that we have come to expect from the top Internet companies. Why Namo Media? Because they focus specifically on native ad formats – rather than having to use a mobile ad exchange to import invasive banners. In-stream, native ads don’t break the flow for the user from post to post. What will Namo Media bring to Twitter, especially since Twitter already has several native ad formats like Promoted Trends, Posts and Profiles? My guess is a an additional creative and strategic outlet for pushing the boundaries of what can be done, as well as a development team versed in creating seamless experiences between paid and earned content on mobile social platforms.” — Alex Funk, Director of Digital Media Strategy, Covario.

“Twitter’s purchase of Namo Media is a smart move. It is a continued move by Twitter to reach mobile users and let’s face it, mobile is where it is at to be advertising. This purchase allows Twitter to further compete against Facebook and Google, and I suspect will pay strong dividends for Twitter with both advertising dollars and it stock price. Mobile is the place where advertising dollars are being spent and this move show Twitter understands that and is go after that market aggressively.” — David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC.

“Launched in 2006, Twitter once led the way in integrating cell phones into its service, this well before most of us were sporting smart phones, so they have a particular interest in staying on top in the increasingly competitive arena of mobile applications. For a long time, there were questions about how they could monetize their service, and the answer they eventually arrived at, sponsored tweets, was not an unmitigated success. What we see happening today is a move away from single platform networks like Facebook and Twitter, and towards more specialized apps that are themselves networked together. Google has led the way on this, and with the purchase of Namo Media, Twitter can provide the equivalent of Google AdWords for mobile apps. Running ads in apps has become one of the main answers to the question of how to monetize apps for mobile devices, but nothing is more annoying to users than ads that appear to be entirely inappropriate, so using algorithms to determine ads that fit in with the content of the app is essential to its success. Whether Namo’s algorithms can compete with Google’s remains to be seen, but Twitter also needs to be concerned with Facebook’s aggressive moves into mobile territory through its purchase of Instagram and WhatApp. The one thing that is certain in the new media industry is that if you stand on your laurels, you will quickly fall behind.” — Lance A. Strate, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University, and author of “Amazing Ourselves to Death.”

“This acquisition further underscores what the industry already knows. Mobile is becoming the preferred method of media consumption, banners don’t work on mobile and native is the future. I suspect you will continue to see acquisitions in the native space by social networks, publishers and broadcasters.” — Ted Murphy, CEO & Founder of IZEA.


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