As the major social networks – Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook – came out with their quarter three reports for 2014, one trend to note is the role mobile played in driving the businesses of these companies.
About 1.12 billion people now use Facebook each month on mobile, and 703 million people each day – nearly 40 per cent growth from this time last year. Mobile accounted for 47 per cent of the total traffic to LinkedIn as well with unique visiting members from mobile devices growing nearly three times faster. For Twitter, 85 per cent of the total ad revenue was generated from mobile devices, up from approximately 70 per cent from the prior-year period.
With Asia now on top of the adoption of smartphones globally, it is becoming increasingly important for the brands to move to this medium – and Facebook and Twitter provide many such opportunities.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook, reiterates the opportunities that mobile provides, “We’re investing in ad tech for a simple reason: consumers are shifting quickly to mobile and the advertising industry is not keeping up. 2013 was the first year the average American adult spent more time on digital media than watching TV and that gap has continued to grow. Today, the average adult in the US spends nearly 25 per cent of their media time on mobile, but advertisers spend only about 11 per cent of their budgets there.
One of the main reasons budgets haven’t moved as quickly as consumers is that advertisers haven’t yet had an effective way to serve ads and measure their returns on mobile.”
Videos, Twitter Buy and more
Another trend that stood out from the Q3 reports for Facebook was its native video format, which is giving YouTube a run for its money. This quarter Facebook announced a new milestone for native video, achieving 1 billion daily views of native videos. The Ice Bucket Challenge videos recorded more than 10 billion video views by 440 million people.
Twitter also launched a new tool called Promoted Video beta which streamlines video playback. It also tested a “Buy” button, which will allow users to complete an entire purchase directly from a tweet.
LinkedIn saw a growth in its professional publishing platform with more than 40,000 posts being published per week making it the fastest growing driver of member engagement.
Trends from the region showed that LinkedIn saw a growth from China, one of the large contributor to growth.
With the trends shifting to mobile and video the social media networks focusing on developing them as advertising platforms, brands should also look to the platforms to engage their consumers.