Twitter sheds light on mobile user habits

Twitter has published a study advising advertisers on the habits of its “primary mobile users”, finding they follow more brands than desktop users, are more likely to use the network while watching TV and typically aged between 18-34.


Twitter is advising advertisers to remember the importance of mobile targeting claiming “primary mobile users” are 57 per cent less likely to use the network via their desktop compared to “average Twitter users.”

While the study, conducted with research firm Compete, found 60 per cent of Twitter users access the network at least once a month on a mobile, its smartphone and tablet users are the most engaged.


Taylor Schreiner, Twitter’s co-head of ad research, says:  “Target messages by device to optimise reach and drive on the go engagement.

“Think about content that’s easy to interact with and consider the experience beyond the Tweet too - for example, link to sites that are optimised for mobile.” 

Primary mobile users are also continually engaged with the service throughout the day including during commuting and office hours, see below, and twice as likely to use Twitter when they are out with friends.


“When creating Twitter campaigns, think about a day in the life of your target consumers. Consider where they are, what they are doing and who they might be with at key moments during the day and evening,” adds Schreiner.

Primary mobile users are 96 per cent more likely to follow 11 or more brands and 58 per cent more likely to recall seeing an ad on Twitter, compared to its average users who follow five or more on the network, according to the study.

The news comes as Google overhauled its AdWords service to facilitate the growing trend towards multi-device search, effectively forcing advertisers to consider mobile users as part of their digital campaigns.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I saw a Google presentation outlining that in 2013 76% of the UK will be online, 50% will have a smart phone, and 20% will have a tablet – this puts the Twitter data into context a bit more. I agree, the shift in consumer behaviour supported by Twitter’s data is happening. But I cannot whole-heartedly support the undertones of a 'perpetual future' adhered to with this insight. It smacks a bit of the 2013 predictions that we were inundated with at the end of last year. There is a very vivid ‘present’ that is personified by the hordes of brands trying to retrofit digital effectively into their marketing and CRM, let alone do it well! To be frank, Twitter are a bit late to the audience targeting vs. media location party, as Google’s various ad platforms managed through Adwords gets more and more targeted, highlighted recently by the launch of Enhanced Campaign Features. The Twitter usership is still in its infancy, and although I have seen some interesting ‘second screen’ brand case studies presented at conferences, they are from a handful of brands and often serve as part of a wider campaign. They cannot, and potentially will not, offer the stand alone CPA model that Google offers through Adwords. 2013 marketing budgets still confirm the ad spend shift to digital, but if you haven’t found a way to utilise Twitter as a targeted channel, I wouldn’t worry just yet. I love Twitter, I feel that the real-time marketing insights potential is incredible but there are things that need to happen first [agency relations for one ?) such as brands being agile enough to respond to realtime developments to utilise Twitter's whopping unique selling point.

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