Mobile, Social

Do They Even Have a Desktop Version?

Written by Tim Edmundson

Think about the last time you logged into Facebook or Twitter – it was from your phone, wasn’t it? Mobile is pretty much synchronous with social these days, with users gravitating towards the allure of mobile social app offerings. Twitter has approximately 250 million mobile monthly active users, with 80 percent of their total user base logging in through a mobile device. Facebook reports 1.4 billion mobile monthly active users, which is a pretty staggering number considering that represents about one in five humans currently walking the earth. The numbers don’t lie – social and mobile go hand in hand.

So what does that mean for us as marketers? Well, to start it means we should keep dialed into the opportunities for advertising with social networks on mobile. It’s how users access content – recent research found that 2015 saw more users access the internet through mobile than desktop – a 51 to 42 percent split. So it only makes sense for marketers to find the best way to engage audiences there.


Mobile has been seen as a huge opportunity in the past few years, and social media platforms are doing their best to help facilitate advertisers’ desire to get their ads in front of users away from their desktops. Twitter continues to hone their ad offerings to better serve advertisers when it comes to mobile – “Mobile is at the core of Twitter’s DNA,” they proclaim, and rightly so – recall 80 percent of their users log in through a mobile device. They’ve added abilities to target users based on their mobile carriers, as well as users with new mobile devices, and it’s a surefire bet that Twitter will continue present new offerings for their ad space in the future.

Instagram meanwhile has taken strides to make their ad offerings more attractive to advertisers. They’ve enhanced their targeting tools with tech borrowed from Facebook, and buffed up their available ad formats to include video and carousels. They’ve also added the ability to link to product pages directly from ads (with options to shop, install or sign up) to help bolster the idea they can be a portal for ecommerce.

With the Right Hand Column not available on mobile, Facebook has found success with native advertising – ads that appear in the News Feed that blend in with other posts. These are actually quite popular – 32 percent of users state that they are likely to share a native ad with a friend or family member. Not only that, users are 25 percent more likely to look at ads in their News Feed compared to banner ads. And these numbers bear out in results; Twitter recently found native mobile advertisements had a 128 percent increased CTR from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015. This bodes well for advertisers looking for improved performance on mobile social apps, and anywhere else that hosts native ads.

Mobile advertising has carried a lot of weight for the social network – 76 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue comes through mobile, with 90 percent of their revenue growth being slotted firmly in the mobile column. And it’s not just benefiting Facebook; research released in December of 2015 showed that mobile Facebook ads had a lifting effect for overall search referral traffic. Mobile saw a 6.3 percent lift in unique searches compared to desktop, which clocked in at 0.9 percent.


Facebook also found that mobile ads lead to an increase in lower-funnel conversions, meaning users were more inclined to pull the trigger on a purchase they had already been considering.

With social networks seeing value in their offerings for mobile advertising, and reports showing mobile outperforming desktop in key areas, it is a no-brainer that marketers should be involved and getting the most out of their media buys on the ever-increasingly-mobile social space. We’ve recently recommended some best practices for retargeting on Facebook, as well as tips on segmenting on mobile, so take advantage of these resources.

Check out our blog for more tips that can help you get the most out of mobile and social in 2016.