Twitter is to offer a native ads platform through MoPub, the mobile ad exchange it acquired in September last year. After four months of testing, MoPub will now allow any of its customers to set up, manage and sell their direct-sold and in-house native ads through the new platform.
The platform consists of an SDK, which developers can use to build a customizable ad unit inside their existing mobile apps, and an ad server for recording ad campaigns as part of their native ad inventory. Twitter then offers a native ad extension, connected to OpenRTB, which will allow other publishers to bid on the creator’s native mobile ad units.
“Not only are native ads a significant improvement for publisher monetization in general, but users engage with these ad formats at a higher rate than the desktop-era banners and interstitials which are so prevalent in mobile apps today,” Twitter said in a blog post. “Because of this, monetization through native ads can deliver a considerably better experience for users and also a better Return On Investment (ROI) for marketers.”
Native ads, as a quick primer, are adverts that should seamlessly blend into the content around them. Almost like a good advertorial in a newspaper, they feel like part of the software, which makes them more enticing to consumers.
It’s thergore not surprising to see Twitter shift MoPub’s business in this direction. Many developers want to use native ads to drive app downloads, while improving their own revenues by accommodating similar native ads in their own apps. MoPub’s native ad exchange should appeal to both use-cases.
MoPub will make its “full stack ad serving and exchange solution for native ads” generally available tomorrow. Last week, Twitter announced app install ads for its own mobile apps, as well as support for external ad campaigns – powered by the MoPub exchange – through the ads.twitter.com dashboard.
After its IPO, sceptics have wondered how Twitter will monetize its microblogging network and grow into a sustainable business. Its acquisition and development of MoPub shows that mobile and native advertizing – both on and off Twitter – could be the key to its success.
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