Social advertising has begun to hit the heights that people knew that it could in 2014. We saw Twitter’s advertising potential finally reach its fruition, Facebook’s profits grew and Youtube’s advertising charge continued.
2015 is therefore an interesting time for digital advertising as this trend looks to expand.
It is a commonly held belief that apart from Twitter (who’s version of advertising could almost be classified as native) there are few social companies who have managed to make this move from desktop dominance to mobile. There are several reasons behind this, from the UX change between formats to the size of the screens being smaller.
But is this true? No.
Yahoo! ended 2015 on a mobile advertising high note and thanks to their Tumblr app remain on course to surpass Twitter in mobile revenue before the end of the year. 65% of Tumblr users access the site through the app, meaning that they have almost 2/3 of their users engaged through a mobile platform.
However, it is not simply the older digital players who are making the most of the rise in mobile use, new players are also making moves into the market.
Chief amongst them is Snapchat.
Although by definition, they lack the data to conduct detailed targeted marketing, they have introduced sponsored timelines for events and have even added companies to people’s contacts, to send updates to them. Although relative small in scale, with a reported 100 million monthly users, this could grow in popularity and increase revenue for the company in 2015.
Similarly, Instagram, with Facebook’s backing, has begun to introduce video ads on timelines. This allows companies to place their ads straight into the same space and in the same format, as all other Instagram users.
This will make it easy to not only create native advertising, but also to do so with powerful data behind it. Facebook is well known to have some of the most complete datasets of anybody in the world, meaning that this data can be utilized to truly target people in the mobile arena.
Facebook, has also begun this, with adverts being placed in people’s timelines in mobile. This differs from the traditional sidebar ads they regularly utilize in their browser based systems.
With all of these players moving into the market, combined with Twitter’s announcement that 85% of its 2014 revenues came from mobile revenue, will mean that 2015 will bring development in this area.
The likelihood is that we are going to be seeing significant changes in the mobile advertising market in 2015. This will require experimentation and changing to the basic ways we interact with social media on mobile.
Currently we have systems that cater almost exclusively to native advertising, with video making some waves on select platforms. What this means is that as companies look to increase their revenues in this area and attempting to maximise the potential for new advertising space without sacrificing the user experience.
How this is done will depend firstly, on how aggressively changes are wanted and secondly, on the needs of the advertisers on these platforms.
However the changes come, 2015 is likely to be the year that we see most of them. We are looking forward to seeing which make the most impact and which platforms adopt them more aggressively.