Some really good things we’ve learned:
1. Users are open to ads as long as they’re relevant to their realtime experience.
2. Advertisers really want to create ads that are relevant to the realtime experience.
3. Realtime applications are starting to make serious money through advertising!
Some really hard challenges all of us face:
1. Realtime targeting is complex
2. Data is everything
3. Advertisers need to be taught how to engage in a realtime experience.
OneRiot has been at it since October (beta launch in January), and in April we expect to exceed 1/2 billion ad impressions across our network of realtime apps.
Our impressions are in the stream (e.g. on Twitter apps like UberTwitter and social desktop apps like Digsby) and they are in search (e.g. on OneRiot.com). Recently we’ve started distributing them across the wider web through traditional ad units.
What we’ve discovered is that when the ad is relevant to a trending topic, relevant to what people are talking about on the realtime web, the click thru rate goes through the roof. In other words, if iPad is trending, and we promote the hottest accessories for the iPad, realtime web users love it. Even on mobile, the CTR goes from an industry average of 0.1-0.2% to over 1% and sometimes even higher. We’ve had CTRs as high as 8% when we really nail it.