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Facebook vs Twitter vs Google: mobile ads race to ramp up in 2014


Tired of mobile ads? I hope not, since the latest reports say that they’re not expected to come to an end anytime soon. Next year? Not even close.

Google may be scaling back its aggressive Google + campaign, as seen earlier this week with Google + creator Vic Gundotra’s resignation announcement, but Google’s still got its mind set on mobile. Along with Facebook and Twitter, the search engine giant hopes to increase mobile ads in 2014 in the never-ending race to see which tech company can rise to the top. EMarketer Inc. reports that Google’s #1 position in mobile ads is being challenged by the likes of both Facebook and Twitter, and the company’s 47% stake in the mobile ad market is down from 49% in 2013. Meanwhile, Facebook’s mobile ad share has increased from 18% to 22% over the last year, and Twitter’s has gone from 2.4% to 2.7%. In the mobile space, Facebook is Google’s largest competitor.

Who’ll win the race?

Google’s Mobile Weapons Arsenal: Mobile Click-To-Cal, Mobile App Extensions, TrueView


Don’t ever underestimate the search engine giant’s reach into mobile. Its influence is present every time you type a search term at Google.com, and Google’s ads are about to become more visible than ever before. Gmail is a popular place for mobile ads on laptops, but the company has a number of other tools devoted to increasing its mobile ad share. Google has an entire Google Ads campaign that provides tools for advertisers such as “mobile click-to-call,” search ads, display ads, mobile ads, as well as YouTube ads via Google’s TrueView feature. Mobile click-to-call allows advertisers to provide a way for consumers to call an advertiser on mobile when a user clicks on an individual’s ad. Mobile ads include mobile app extensions that allow users to download mobile apps directly from the Play Store when users click on a given mobile ad.

YouTube has always been a place for video ads, but Google looks to increase its ad tools in this popular feature. TrueView is unlike anything else on the Web: it allows users to choose the ads they want to see, and advertisers get paid only when a user chooses to watch a given advertisement. Google’s figured out that users don’t want to see a bunch of ads they’ve no interest in. TrueView gives both the advertiser and the viewer control. These features don’t even begin to mention Google’s Adwords campaign that provides advertisements when an individual types a given term into Google’s search engine box.

As you can see, Google is, to use the old Visa advertising slogan that has now become en vogue once more, “everywhere you wanna be.”

Twitter Mobile Ads Weapons: Mobile App Installs, MoPub

The famous bird-logo social networking company purchased 1-billion-user MoPub, Inc., back in September 2013, but has also taken to video ads in its competition against Google and Facebook. Twitter’s decision to purchase MoPub seven months ago had everything to do with mobile ads, seeing that Twitter aims to introduce ads to users when the company believes it will most benefit the user. The new mobile app install ads announced nearly two weeks ago intend to go after Facebook’s lucrative mobile app install feature that has netted Facebook $1 billion in annual revenues. 100 billion mobile app install downloads occurred in Q4 2013, meaning that Facebook’s success is growing.

When Twitter’s not selling ads through its Twitter app, the company intends to advertise through MoPub, which, as said above, already has a growing consumer base. Twitter is behind, but its new mobile app install program may be just the thing it needs to close in on the gap between itself and Facebook. Twitter already relies on “tweet” ads that place advertisements of certain products (of user interest) into the never-ending “tweets” list on main user pages.

Facebook Mobile Ads Weapon: User Information and Mobile App Installs

It’s not a surprise that Facebook has become an aggressive competitor to Google, seeing that it’s work history, educational experience, hometown, and other personal information such as movies seen, books read, hobbies, and so on. If Facebook’s troubles with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the WhatsApp acquisition mean anything, it’s that Facebook doesn’t follow privacy rules very well.

Fortunately for Facebook at least, its dislike of user privacy may give it a tool in the mobile ads race. Mobile app installs have become so successful for the company in 2013 alone because of the wealth of information Facebook already has on its 1-billion user base. Twitter’s turn to mobile app installs two weeks ago is a good indication that, whatever Facebook’s doing, it’s doing something right.

And, as for Google’s decision to scale back Google +? The company’s efforts to compete with Facebook may see Google’s mobile ad share decline even more. When it comes to mobile ads, a company’s success is based on how accessible they are. If Google + becomes (or remains, depending on opinion) a ghost town, Facebook’s success will surge simply because its social media network is the happening place for citizens worldwide.

Don’t kid yourself, though: with the huge lead Google has over Facebook, it’s gonna take more than mobile app installs to beat the search engine giant. Far more.

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Deidre Richardson is a tech enthusiast who loves to cover the latest news on smartphones, tablets, and mobile gadgets. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A, History/Music), you can always find her rocking her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG Nexus 5 on a regular basis.