Blog Post

Microsoft Adds Mobile Behavioral Targeting To The Mix

*Microsoft* has rolled out mobile behavioral targeting across its network — albeit a bit late, since *Yahoo* extended its Smart Ads targeting product to mobile phones through partnerships with Tumri and Teracent in May (per MediaBuyerPlanner). The ads are currently only available on a CPM basis. Advertisers can choose from over a hundred audience segments, including standard categories like automotive, retail, technology and travel; it’s not clear whether there are any custom segments that make Microsoft’s targeting more unique than other providers’.

The news appears to be an indication that mobile traffic across Microsoft’s network has become substantial enough to make behavioral targeting an effective option. A spokesperson would not comment on whether the company had seen growth in mobile traffic over the past year, but self-reported data (via Nielsen) shows that monthly mobile uniques across Microsoft’s Ad Center network hovers at around 25.4 million visits, putting it just behind AdMob and AOL’s Third Screen Media.

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) uses data from Bing searches, site traffic across its network, Windows Live Hotmail and Xbox subscription info — and maintains that the data is anonymous, of course — to compile its audience segments. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) recently gave mobile users the option to opt-out of being behaviorally targeted; with the scrutiny around data collection and privacy in advertising, it would be smart for Microsoft to offer an opt-out as well.