Category: Advertising


A lot of companies aspire to have a mobile strategy, and then there are companies, like Trulia, that already have the beginnings of one.

peteflint trulia

Pete Flint, CEO of the San Francisco-based online real estate company, told AllThingsD that traffic from mobile had increased 120 percent in the fourth quarter year over year. “Mobile is an enormous opportunity for us,” he said. “At some point in the future, we expect it to generate a majority of our revenue.”

Today, the company’s stock hit a new high, closing at $29 a share, following yesterday’s release of its fourth-quarter results.

In that quarter, the company lost $1.6 million, or six cents a share, on revenue of $20.6 million. Excluding some items, Trulia would have lost three cents. Analysts were expecting the company to lose two cents a share on revenue of $19.1 million.

Flint said the average revenue per advertiser grew in the fourth quarter because of mobile and an overall increase in prices. Trulia agents are buying ads on its apps separate from the Web because that is where they are seeing the best results — and because of that, Trulia is charging more for mobile. ”Consumers are absolutely out-and-about using the apps to browse and to connect with an agent to purchase a property,” he said.

One data point backing this up is that in 82 of the top 100 U.S. cities, he said, there are more leads being sent via mobile devices to real estate professionals than through the website.

In September, Trulia went public, pricing its shares at $17 apiece to raise roughly $85 million. Flint said in hindsight, mobile was also a big factor in the success of the offering.

“As we look back, investor concern last year was for companies to execute on mobile and to have a proven track record, and we are uniquely positioned to execute on mobile,” he said.

Trulia’s closest competitor, Zillow, reported its fourth-quarter results today, and also credited mobile for some of its growth. The Seattle-based company, which makes money from charging real-estate agents subscription fees and from advertising, said in December that more than half of its visits occurred on mobile devices, with that traffic spiking to 60 percent on weekends.

Zillow reported a profit of $500,000, or two cents a share, on revenue of $34.3 million. Analysts were expecting the company to break even on revenue of $31.5 million. The company’s stock surged in after-hours trading, jumping 7 percent, or $2.88 a share, to close at $41.85.

The market values Zillow at roughly $1.3 billion, about double Trulia’s current market cap.

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Twitter’s ad business is still a work in progress, but here’s one positive sign: Prices for the company’s “promoted trends” have been steadily rising, and are now at the $200,000 a day mark in the U.S..

Twitter’s newest price hike went into effect earlier this year, and represents a 33 percent increase over the $150,000 rate the company was asking for in 2012. And it’s up 150 percent from the $80,000 a day it was getting for the ads back when it launched them in 2010.

The promoted trend lets an advertiser insert its own message atop the “trends” list on Twitter.com home pages and on Twitter apps; Twitter sells a single message a day, per territory. Except when it doesn’t: Today, for instance, there’s no promoted trend on the site.

Twitter started selling promoted trends after it launched its “Promoted Tweet” ads, which CEO Dick Costolo describes as the company’s “atomic unit” of its ad strategy.

But while advertisers are still trying to get their heads around paid Twitter messages — they’re not really banner ads, and they’re not really Google-like search ads — promoted trends have been a hit from the get-go. That’s because it’s the closest thing the company has to a conventional display ad: If you buy one, you’ve got a very good chance that everyone who uses Twitter that day will see it.

So at the very least, the price hike should encourage Twitter and its investors, which are gearing up the company for an eventual IPO.

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