Playing The Mobile Ad Market With Google, Facebook And Expedia

May 01, 2013 10:37 AM ETAlphabet Inc. (GOOG)EXPE, META2 Comments
Renee Butler profile picture
Renee Butler
186 Followers

Companies like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Facebook (FB) make their money primarily from advertising -- and with so many people online today, the market is huge. The mobile ad market alone stood at roughly $4.1 billion at the end of last year, up from $1.5 billion at the end of 2011, but that is just scratching the surface. As large as that pie is, it accounted for less than 2.5% of all ad spending in the U.S.

That could all be changing.

Targeting People on the Go

Companies are finding new ways to target mobile customers. Providing ads to mobile customers has historically been an uphill challenge. Mobile applications are typically immune to the little snippets of software websites install to track the online activity of users, called "cookies." The result has been that many mobile ads are not as relevant as those users receive on desktop computers and laptops, and, as such, not worth as much. In order for mobile ads to flourish, they need a way to become more relevant.

To this end, cross-screen identities have made some headway -- like when you use your Facebook account to log into another application. It has enabled advertisers to get a better idea of user interests, but the picture is still largely incomplete. Advertisers need to know user demographics as well as when they are actually online to better target mobile users. Point in fact, while mobile ads accounted for almost 25% of Facebook's revenue in the fourth quarter that bump only came after the company made it possible to send ads to people across devices.

New Ways of Ad Targeting

Google, which currently has more than half the mobile ads market with revenue of $2.2 billion, is taking the issue of targeting to heart. In February, the company rolled out a new

This article was written by

Renee Butler profile picture
186 Followers
Renee Ann Butler is a finance writer whose writing has appeared in numerous outlets related to finance and investing, from TheStreet to SCORE. She has an MBA from Exeter, degrees in psychology, and over 15 years of experience working with hedge funds and startups. Her work is centered on technology, consumer trends, and investing strategies.

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