Twitter opens native ads platform to all publishers

Steven Loeb · April 22, 2014 · Short URL:

Twitter began testing MoPub’s native ads platform with mobile app developers in December

Twitter is pretty much taking an "all in" approach to advertising these days.

In just the last year it has introduced a slew of new ad products, including keyword targeting, cookie-based targeted and then an expansion of that ad targeting program to include user's email addresses and Twitter IDs for promoted tweets. It has also introduced mobile app install ads as well.

And now it is going native.

The company announced on Tuesday that, after four months of experimenting on MoPub’s programmatic native ads platform on mobile, it is being launched globally for all publishers. Native ads are those that blend seamlessly into a website or an app, making them feel like part of the experience, rather than something obtrusive.

"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 wrote.

"Because of this, monetization through native ads can deliver a considerably better experience for users and also a better ROI for marketers."

In a separate post, MoPub, the company that Twitter bought back in September, expanded on how the platform works.

Beginning tomorrow, any publisher will be able to use MoPub’s native ads platform to serve direct-sold or in-house native ads, and auction inventory on MoPub Marketplace.

The platform provides three components:

  • A native ad SDK, which can be used to create a customized ad unit inside of the app
  • The ad server, which lets publishers traffic their own ad campaigns into their native inventory
  • A native ad extension to OpenRTB, which allows demand partners to bid on the native ads

In the end, MoPub says that the native ads platform will provide publishers with more targeting options, including device targeting, location targeting, day-part targeting, carrier targeting, and keyword targeting.

The rise of native advertising

Developers love native advertising, and its easy to see why: there are few things more annoying that an ad that seems out of place or disruptive.

Native ads have to have some relevant context to the environment, be in app or a game or website, in which they are run. 

So, for example, a native ad could involve a publisher working directly with brands, in order to create articles that have original content, which are then promoted to the right people on social media. Or they could be an in-game advertisement for other games for the same publisher.

The point is that the ads don't become intrusive and annoy people, like banner ads and display ads sometimes can,

There has been some significant movement in this space already this year.

In January, native advertising company MobSoc Media raised $5 million, and launched a new native digital publishing network, consisting of 35 digital destination sites, each with a mobile, a social and a Web presence.

They span across four verticals: entertainment, sports, technology and lifestyle, with topics that include celebrity news, anime, NASCAR, NFL, travel, food, politics, cats, Android, iPhone/iPad and Kindle.

In February, ad tech company OpenX launched a new ad exchange called Native O|X. The exchange enables app developers and publishers to apply programmatic buying to the native in-stream ad formats. 

(Note: come join us for a panel on the future of mobile monetization at our inaugural two-day Splash Oakland event May 6-7. Register here for tickets. Want to demo your services and products? Get a demo table here.)

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In a market dominated by big advertisers and huge networks, life as a publisher can be tough. Well, OpenX is here to help. We’re an open source advertising community dedicated to helping publishers make more money. Tens of thousands of people around the world have turned to our free ad serving software. With OpenX you're free to choose banners, campaigns and terms that suit you. And our highly sophisticated tracking system means you can gather statistics and optimise campaigns, all from the same simple interface. The result of this flexibility and reporting means that with OpenX, you can take complete control of your advertising. We're here to help you grow your business.

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Founded in late 2012, MobSoc Media is the only interest-based publishing network optimized for the mobile and social world. One of its premier digital properties, Celeb Bistro, has amassed 4.0 million Facebook fans*, a million more than that of its closest competitor, People. MobSoc Media’s proprietary technology, Social Rank®, which leverages crowdsourcing, enables users to easily discover the most popular and trending content in areas they care about and engage with like-minded people, no matter where they are in the digital world. For brand marketers and advertisers, MobSoc Media offers precise targeting of relevant audiences in the mobile and social sphere where they can easily share and connect. As a result, MobSoc Media delivers some of the highest engagement rates in the industry – up to 7 times higher than the category average. MobSoc Media’s advisors include entrepreneur/investor/author James Altucher and Founder & Managing Partner of Social Internet Fund Lou Kerner. For more information, please visit