The vast majority of Facebook and Twitter usage is coming from mobile devices, and both companies generate a significant proportion of their revenues via mobile ads (53% for Facebook and more than 70% for Twitter end Q4 2013).

  • Facebook is splitting into a collection of apps (Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Paper, etc…) and likely to announce a mobile ad network at its F8 developer conference in San Francisco in a couple of days. While failing brand marketers, according to my colleague Nate Elliott, Facebook is increasingly powerful at driving app installs for gaming companies and performance-based marketers who have a clear mobile app business model.
  • That’s why Twitter introduced mobile app install ads a couple of days ago and leveraged its MoPub acquisition by integrating ad-buying capabilities. Twitter is less and less about micro-blogging and more and more about traditional media – the place to be for real-time information consumption.

However, social is not just about Facebook or Twitter.

  • It is also about ratings and reviews, blogs, or simply spending time on social video sites. All these expressions of affinity are increasingly taking place via mobile. For example, 40% of You Tube’s traffic is now generated via mobile devices (it was only 6% in 2011!).
  • It is also increasingly about messaging apps reaching huge global audiences where people spend a lot of time. Think WhatsApp (450 million users), KakaoTalk (140 million users) and many others. Apps like Secret, Whisper, or Snapchat are mimicking offline interactions that are by nature ephemeral and not broadcasted. Some of these messaging apps like LINE or WeChat are turning into marketing platforms:

o   In a recent interview, Jeanie Han, CEO of LINE for Europe and Americas told me she defined LINE as a “smartphone life platform.” While the majority of its 400 million registered users are primarily using it as a communication and gaming app, LINE generated 20% of its Q4 2013 revenues via official accounts and sponsored stickers.

o   Thanks to the power of Tencent, WeChat is even going a step further. The Chinese player is morphing into a powerful contextual and curated portal integrating location-based services, commerce and payments, and many more features as highlighted by my colleague Xiaofeng Wang on her blog. The audience of WeChat is getting more and more global with more than 355 million active users!

The lines between mobile and social touchpoints are blurring. And this is no surprise. Mobile phones are communication and creation tools. Social media are a new form of communications. In short, mobile and social are two sides of the same coin.

In the context of the mobile mind shift, the challenge for marketers is to understand how this complex ecosystem will evolve, to get better customer insights without infringing on people’s privacy, and to engage with their customers in their mobile moments.

I am looking forward to speaking about “Delivering Real-Time Value On Mobile And Social” at Forrester's Forum For Marketing Leaders in London (May 13-14).

Together with my peers, we will share Forrester thinking on brand-building in the post-campaign era and how to balance achieving business objectives whilst delivering highly contextual, real-time customer value. This theme resonated very well at our recent event in San Francisco. We will be joining forces with key industry keynote speakers such as Kristof Fahy, CMO at William Hill; Amy Nelson-Bennett, President at Molton Brown Global; and Francesca Nieddu, Managing Director, CRM And Sales Planning at Intesa Sanpaolo Group (read her Q&A with Luca Paderni, VP and Research Director at Forrester, who will host the event).

To register and check out the full agenda, visit the Forum website:

Feel free to contact me at thusson AT forrester DOT com if you want to discuss this theme and contribute to my upcoming research.