Microsoft Invest - Mobile buying FAQ

Mobile ad campaigns

What targeting can I use on mobile?

You can target (and report on) in-app and device-optimized web impressions by:

  • Device Type - Phone, Tablet, or Desktops & Laptops
  • Device Make and Model - Apple iPhone, HTC Droid Incredible, etc.
  • Carrier - Verizon, Sprint, etc.
  • Connection Type - Carrier-based or wifi/static
  • Mobile Operating System - Android, iPad, etc.
  • Mobile Browser - Android, Blackberry, etc.

System (i.e., device type, device make/model, OS, browser, carrier and connection type), frequency, geography, daypart, segments, and test/control targeting all work for in-app and device-optimized web campaigns.

However, targeting based on tag position and tag query strings is possible only for device-optimized web campaigns.

For more information about how to set up a mobile campaign, see Buying Mobile Inventory.

For information on our mobile reporting capabilities, see Mobile-Specific Reporting.

Can I target geo-locations (latitude/longitude coordinates)?

We currently have targeting for one latitude/longitude pair and a radius around that pair. In targeting, you can define the radius, but the smaller the radius, the lower the reach. We are also reliant on sellers to be able to access this information from mobile devices and populate ad requests with this information, which many sellers are unable to do. For each impression (display, video, etc.) that is sent out from Microsoft Advertising's bidder, there is metadata associated with it including latitude and longitude for the location. However, Microsoft Advertising does not assure the accuracy of those coordinates. Also, latitude/longitude coordinates are not being used to determine geography (zip code, metro code, country) targeting.

I have mobile device identifiers I would like to target. How can I accomplish this?

In the Batch Segment Service there is the ability to upload device identifiers and create an audience segment that can be targeted. See example 6 on the Batch Segment File Format page for an IDFA batch segment upload example. Note that the flag to indicate which type of device identifier you are uploading is through use of separator 5 in the batch segment file format.

What types of mobile inventory can I buy?

There are two types of mobile inventory: in-app and device-optimized web sites.

  • In-App - Applications that are installed on mobile phones and tablets, i.e., Angry Birds. At this time, all in-app inventory comes from external supply partners such as Smaato and Microsoft Advertising Exchange. Therefore, it is possible to buy third-party but not direct in-app inventory.
  • Device-Optimized Web Sites - Web sites that are optimized for viewing and interaction in browsers on mobile phones and tablets. At this time, most device-optimized web inventory comes from external supply partners. However, it is possible to buy your own device-optimized web inventory by placing mobile web ad tags on your pages. For more information about using our /mob ad tag, see Mobile Ad Call Reference.

Can I enable my device-optimized web inventory for direct buying?

Yes, you can use our /mob or /ttj ad tags to make mobile ad calls from your device-optimized pages.

Can I enable my in-app inventory for direct buying?

Yes. To enable serving ads into a mobile app, we use a placement tag that's been modified to pass additional mobile-specific data. We're developing mobile SDKs (Currently undergoing a closed alpha. Inquire with your Microsoft Advertising representative if you wish to join the alpha.) which will make this even easier for app publishers. For more information, see the Mobile SDKs.

Does conversion tracking work in mobile browsers?

In mobile browsers, post-click conversion tracking works just like it does in web browsers. Post-view conversions, however, can only be tracked across non-Safari mobile browsers. If you use the "Optimize to a predicted CPA goal" strategy in a line item or campaign, do so only for post-click scenarios.

Does conversion tracking work in mobile apps?

Yes. Even if the user converts in a separate mobile browser later (having closed the app in which they initially clicked the ad), the correlation to the click in the app can still be tracked. This is because we overwrite the browser cookie with the user ID from the app.


Microsoft Advertising does not have an app install tracking solution at this time. We do provide instructions for integrating with an install tracking vendor; see Set Up Third-Party Mobile App Install Tracking.

Can I track app install events from browser impressions or clicks?

Tracking conversion events in this cross-environment scenario is dependent on the ability of a third party app install tracker to track a click or view event to an app install. Most install tracking providers rely on fingerprinting/statistical ID methods to handle this attribution, which generally relies on creative click.

Can I track browser conversions events from in app impressions or clicks?

Tracking conversion events in this cross environment scenario may be possible if a third party tracking solution is used. Microsoft Advertising conversion pixels placed on advertiser conversion pages may show conversions from app impressions or clicks. This will happen if we have linked the user identifier between the browser and the app environments. There are a subset of users where we have accomplished this cross app to browser mapping, but generally is not a solution to handle attribution for all users.

Is payment on a per-click (CPC) or per-conversion (CPA) basis available?

At this time, most in-app inventory and most device-optimized web inventory comes from external supply partners such as Smaato and Microsoft Advertising Exchange. External supply partners do not accept payment on a per-click (CPC) or per-conversion (CPA) basis. Therefore, we recommended only paying on a per-impression (CPM) basis.

Mobile reporting FAQ

Is log-level reporting (formerly known as data siphon) available?

Yes. For more details about log-level reporting, see the Log-Level Data Feeds.

Can I report on device identifiers I have delivered on?

Yes, either through use of Creative Macros or in the Log-Level Data Feeds.

General mobile FAQ

What types of creatives can serve in mobile campaigns?

You can serve standard banners and MRAID creatives. For instructions on how to set up your rich media creatives, see Run Rich Media Creatives on Mobile Inventory.


For more information about MRAID (and mobile video), see MRAID and Mobile Video Tutorial.

We recommend using the following creative sizes on mobile devices:

  • 120x600
  • 160x600
  • 300x50
  • 300x250
  • 320x50
  • 468x60
  • 728x90

Why is identifying users so hard? Can't we just use cookies?

For information on the reasons why it's hard, see Technical Limitations of Mobile Buying.