BARCELONA, Spain – Twitter may not have had an official booth at Mobile World Congress this year, but in many ways it felt like the company had a larger presence at the show than just about anyone else.
Developers were definitely feeling heaps of love from Twitter’s business development and product teams, who were swarming all over them in private meetings to explain their various new ad products. And on Wednesday night, the company hosted an epic party, dubbed #Tweetbeats, at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Arts.
And throughout the week, it was impossible to walk through the conference without seeing a Twitter representative on stage giving a talk somewhere. On Monday, the company hosted a three-hour workshop for developers to explain its new development platform, Fabric, as well as to talk about how to driver user growth and how to use Twitter to attract players to mobile game apps.
There were also talks by Chris Moody, Twitter’s vice president of data strategy; Brent Herd, head of telco strategy and development; and John Ploumitsakos, senior director of product strategy and sales.
They came to deliver a message to developers about how Twitter can help them reach customers through its data insights, how Twitter can be a powerful engine to drive app installs, and how they can use new tools on top of Twitter to drive customer engagement.
It was an aggressive push, even by the standards of a company where mobile has always been an essential part of the user experience as well as the business. As Twitter wrote in its annual report, “Mobile has become the primary driver of our business.”
Indeed, in the most recent quarter, mobile grew to 85 percent of Twitter’s revenues, up from 75 percent for the same quarter a year ago.
With overall user growth slowing and pressure growing to find ways to make current users more attractive to advertisers, Twitter has expanded its investment in mobile products and advertising services over the past year.
For instance, it launched the Fabric platform which helps developers create apps and integrate those apps with MoPub, mobile advertising network Twitter acquired in 2013. On the product side, it recently introduced a mobile video feature within the Twitter mobile app.
“We’re clearly at the very beginning of mobile video sharing, and we’ll see with video what we’ve seen with photos: an abundance of creation and consumption happening from the device we have with us all the time,” said chief executive Dick Costolo on the most recent earnings call with analysts. “We have a lot more coming on the mobile video front, and I am personally investing a good deal of time in this area.”
Twitter faces a big challenge persuading developers, who have become huge fans of Facebook’s mobile advertising products and strategies, particularly those that drive app installs. But clearly, Twitter still feels like it has a huge opportunity here and a new and better story to tell.
We’ll see after the red wine and tapas fade into memory just how well developers were listening and whether they were persuaded.
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