Yahoo will overtake Twitter next year to become the third highest mobile advertiser

Marissa Mayer’s received plenty of criticism as Yahoo’s CEO, but her mobile strategy can’t be faulted.

Yahoo is set to overtake Twitter’s mobile ad revenues next year, giving it the third largest mobile ad revenue numbers in the country. The prediction comes from a report by eMarketer, which states:

Next year, Yahoo’s US mobile ad revenues will account for 3.74% of the country’s mobile ad market, pushing past Twitter for the first time—which will take 3.69% share in 2015.

This places Yahoo behind Facebook and Google, no small achievement for a company that many had written off as unfocused and lacking innovation. Much of Yahoo’s mobile success is due in large part to Marissa Mayer’s efforts. One of Mayer’s top priorities upon taking the CEO position was to revamp and strengthen Yahoo’s mobile development team, taking it from only a dozen employees to a unit with over 300 people. 

To illustrate Mayer’s success at re-energizing Yahoo’s mobile ad efforts, here’s an interesting anecdote from a Bloomberg article:

Underlying the market-share increase is a meeting that Mayer held in early 2013 at a graffiti-decorated conference room at Yahoo’s Sunnyvale, California, headquarters. There, the CEO challenged a team of employees to create a new ad feature that would run across mobile devices and desktop personal computers – – and gave them 45 days to complete it.

The group, called “Moneyball” after the book about the scrappy Oakland Athletics baseball team, responded by delivering the new service in 43 days. The technology laid the groundwork for the effort that’s helping to drive Yahoo’s growth in digital promotions on smartphones and tablets.

However, it’s not all rosy for Yahoo. It still lags far behind Facebook and Google, who take up the lion’s share of the country’s mobile ad revenues, and Twitter is in hot pursuit with several new innovative mobile features for advertisers. While mobile might be doing well, Yahoo’s overall advertising picture isn’t great. Considering the amount of people that access its content on mobile, it should be monetizing even more, and Mayer’s strategy, effective as it is, might be too little, too late.

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