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Are Twitter’s Mobile Ads Worthless?

Mobile ads are all the rage these days. Companies are jumping on the chance to target their consumers while they’re out in the world, refining the who, when, and where of serving ads in greater detail than ever before.

But new stats might make these marketers rethink their mobile strategy: up to 40 percent of mobile ad clicks are worthless.

ReadWriteWeb has the scoop on some new – and not-so-positive – information about mobile ads.

TradeMob conducted a study of over six million mobile ads within the ten biggest ad networks, and found that just about four in ten clicks don’t result in a return on investment for the advertiser.

Of this 40 percent, 22 percent were “mis-clicks”, which are accidental clicks made by someone scrolling or navigating using their mobile device. 18 percent were simply fraudulent clicks made by bots, dishonest publishers or others.

And these 40 percent “worthless” clicks are really worthless: they have a less than 0.1 percent conversion rate.

So what does this mean for Twitter?

At the end of February this year, Twitter began serving ads on mobile devices. Users started to see Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets in their Twitter stream while on their smartphones. By the end of April 2012, advertisers were able to target ads to specific devices, and the company is on track to bring in $350 million thanks largely to the interest in these mobile ads.

Twitter’s mobile ads are enjoying their honeymoon period, with advertisers reporting stellar results. However, all of this rosy sentiment might be a result of “too-early-to-tell” statistics.

Twitter needs its mobile ads to be a huge success for its advertisers, to entice them into repeat purchases and boost their bottom line. But if nearly half of clicks aren’t paying off, it might be a problem for both Twitter and its advertisers.

(Modified special offer and smartphone image via Shutterstock)

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