The Evolution of Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising has come a long way from its rather simple beginning. Despite being a relatively new technology, it seems as if ads have been popping up on our mobile devices much longer than they actually have. The causes of this illusion are the rapid growth of the advertising industry and the constant innovations in mobile advertising.

So, how did mobile advertising begin anyway? And where is the industry headed? 

The Journey to Now

Going back to 1992, cellular devices have already been used for about 12 years. The first seeds of mobile advertising was when a test engineer in the United Kingdom sent the first SMS message, simply saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ Fast forward a few years and advertising agencies jumped on this new form of communication with the formation of the first mobile advertising offering: bulk text messaging. No creative elements, no possibility of targeting, just simple text messaging. Since the days of ‘brick phones’ and bulk text messaging, things have rapidly changed. By 2002, SMS becomes the newest mass media channel. 

With the release of smartphones, the growth of mobile advertising accelerated. In 2007, the first wave of mobile ad exchanges, supported by advertising technology platforms, started to pop up, providing marketplaces where app publishers could easily sell their media inventory. Soon, the App Store was introduced, allowing users to switch between mobile web browsing behind and mobile apps. Mobile apps were in high-demand, and many of the first mobile apps were free to users. Instead, many mobile apps monetized through mobile advertising.

As mobile capabilities grew to include interactive gaming and GPS technology, mobile ads began incorporating these features for a more engaging user experience. By 2014, it became increasingly important for app developers to seamlessly include mobile advertising within apps to create better user experiences. This is in large due to users spending more of their time on mobile apps, and the browser was quickly becoming an afterthought. In fact, eMarketer’s study suggests that by the end of this year, mobile advertising spending will surpass $100 billion and account for more than half of the digital ad spend.

What’s Next?

The mobile advertising industry has made some incredible advancement since the early years. Mobile devices now play a key role in our everyday lives; from scheduling meetings while on the go to online shopping. Mobile video ads are expected to take over our screens as more users shift their eyes from their TVs to watching their favorite shows or play their favorite games on mobile apps. Native ads are likely to continue to see significant momentum, offering users even more seamless experiences. We will see how this industry will evolve even more in the next few years.

To learn more about how Aarki can help you with your mobile advertising, please contact us at

Topics: Industry News