Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Mobile Ad Problem? Not at Twitter, Says Dick Costolo.

Facebook says it’s just figuring out how to sell mobile ads. Twitter says it may have already solved the problem.

Twitter only started selling mobile ads in February. But in recent weeks, the company has started seeing more money from the Promoted Tweets it sells on phones than from the same product it sells on desktop computers, says CEO Dick Costolo.

Here’s Costolo, speaking at an Economist conference in San Francisco today:

Even though we launched our ad platform on the web, and only started running ads on mobile a few months ago, it has already been the case a couple weeks ago that we saw mobile ad revenue for the first time in a day be greater than non-mobile revenue. So mobile revenue for us is already doing delightfully well; I couldn’t be happier with it.

That’s a marked contrast from Facebook, which also began selling mobile ads in February, and told investors in advance of its IPO that it didn’t have any meaningful mobile revenue.

Then again, Facebook sold $3 billion worth of ads last year, and Twitter may have done a couple hundred million. So a boom for Costolo is a blip for Mark Zuckerberg.

Still, Costolo seemed to go out of his way today to point out that mobile advertising isn’t a riddle for Twitter to solve, because Twitter has always been a mobile product.

He told the Economist’s crowd that 60 percent of Twitter’s 140 million users get to the service via a mobile device, up from 55 percent six months ago. And he said that those mobile users are more engaged and use the service more frequently than the ones who get on via a PC.

Translation: If Twitter does get to $1 billion in revenue in a couple years, it’s going to do so because of the phone, not despite it.

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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo