Smartphone advertising worth a billion pounds in 2013

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Your smartphone is increasingly the best medium through which advertisers can tell you to "buy stuff, then buy more stuff". As generations of Britons mooch around in a digital stupor staring in wonder at their iPhones, they have become a soft target for the strafing fire of advertising.

As a medium the smartphone is perfect for advertisers. Unlike the TV, it's always on, and users remain overly reverent of its messages. In 2013 estimates suggest that the advertising market in the UK alone for smartphones will rise to £1 billion, with Google, Facebook and Twitter the main beneficiaries.

Britain remains a boom region for advertisers simply because there are so many credulous suckers on these islands. Already Britain has the highest percentage of smartphone users anywhere in the world. Forecasts predict that the UK digital ad market will grow to almost £8 billion over the next three years, a meteoric rise from a mere £200 million in 2011.

Industry expert Clark Fredricksen from eMarketer identified a significant shift away from advertising geared at desktops and towards smartphone users. The social media giants led the way. "Two years ago Facebook and Twitter had no mobile ad business," he told The Guardian. "Today the companies earn between a third and half, respectively, of all revenues from mobile ads. Google, similarly, has seen mobile searches rise dramatically thanks to smartphone adoption, and thus the company is seeing more paid search ad clicks than ever before coming through mobile devices."

That's great for Google's profit margins, less so for iPhone users experiencing ad saturation. Our love of Apple has cast us out of the Eden of rudimentary mobile phones that just made calls and sent texts and were not receptive to the serpentine blandishments of advertisers. For those addicted to their iDevices, it's too late to go back to those halcyon days and all that remains is a purgatory of advertising all day and all night.

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