Mobile services need to get better at “filling the gaps” in our daily lives, Twitter’s Bruce Daisley said at an IAB conference today.

In a talk about “Mobile and Social”, Daisley said that in order to succeed businesses need to follow three rules.

They must be:

  • Authentically mobile.
  • Simple to understand.
  • Easy to action.

By adhering to these rules, services cater to the consumer need for mobile activities that fill the “interstices” in our days.

Some of the businesses doing best in mobile are those that started off filling the gaps – YouTube, Facebook, Path and also Twitter.

Daisley said businesses need to seize the opportunity in the interstices and “think about how you can harness the gap”.

He highlighted Angry Birds – which recently achieved 1bn downloads – as a service that succeeded by being inherently mobile. Twitter also published impressive mobile stats this week – 80% of its 10m active UK users access their account through mobile.

The focus on 140 characters also fits the second rule of being simple to understand. Daisley said the average email takes two days to be opened, whereas SMS messages are opened in four minutes.

While email used to be much quicker than old ‘snail mail’, you’re now better off posting a letter than sending someone an email. Marketers need to take this into account with mobile marketing, as short interactions are more effective. People look at their phones 150 times a day – once every 6.5 minutes. It’s about fast, easy interactions.

Daisley said this focus on short engagement had inspired Twitter’s ad strategy.

Promoted Tweets achieve engagement levels of 1%-3%, compared to an industry average 0.05% CTR for display ads. He highlighted a Promoted Tweet campaign run by Lynx, which achieved engagement levels of 6%.

However it should be noted that an engagement on Twitter refers to when someone “retweets, replies to, clicks or favourites your Promoted Tweet.” Therefore, there are more opportunities for engagement than on a simple CTR measurement.