Developers love them, advertisers love them, and companies are raking in cash—all thanks to the little buttons in mobile advertisements that urge you to download an app.

See also: How Post-IPO Twitter Could Make Billions Without Alienating Users

Twitter is the latest company to introduce these new mobile advertisements. Today the company announced that developers and advertisers can urge mobile Twitter users to download applications through these so-called app install ads, and reach up to one billion mobile devices through the MoPub Marketplace, the advertising startup the company acquired last year

At first glance, this may look like Twitter’s latest copycat move on Facebook. But that doesn’t give app install ads enough credit. 

Mobile Is Eating The World

More than 85 percent of the time we spend on our mobile devices, we’re using one app or another. But finding good apps is still a problem for the majority of smartphone users, in part because app store search leaves something to be desired. So how do developers get people to notice their apps? Serve them up where people are spending all their time—in other apps. 

Facebook launched its own mobile app install ads in October 2012, and the product has been huge both for marketers and Facebook’s bottom line. Last year, the number of installs driven by Facebook’s ad program ballooned to 245 million, and accounted for hundreds of millions in revenue for the company, according to BuzzFeed.

Though Facebook remains mum on the exactly how lucrative the ad program is, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits it’s been quite successful. “We’re finding that people also really want to buy a lot of app install ads, and that’s grown incredibly quickly and is one of the best parts of the ad work that we did over the last year,” he told the New York Times in January.

Yahoo is experimenting with similar ad products, too. In March, the company confirmed it was testing ads that sell users on apps in hopes of appealing to more developers and brands. So far the company hasn’t fully rolled out the ad program, but it’s likely we’ll see it in the coming months.

Some people might argue they have all the apps they need, but app install ads could drive even bigger traffic in markets that are just now buying smartphones—developing markets that tech giants are especially interested in. As more people get their hands on cheap smartphones, specifically in emerging economies, the business of pushing apps into consumer hands is only going to grow in importance.

Twitter is rolling out the new ad product today, and marketers can set up app install ad campaigns that target both mobile Twitter users and thousands of apps in the MoPub Marketplace on

Image courtesy of Twitter