NEW YORK: Social networking sites are becoming ever more effective in reaching advertisers' audiences as they continue to tweak their design and introduce new targeting options, new reports have suggested.

Twitter, the microblog platform, has announced a refinement to its facility enabling advertisers to target mobile users based on their operating system. The companies will now be able to segment audiences on iOS and Android by operating system version, specific device, and wifi connectivity.

Marketers can focus campaigns on users with device models that are indicative of demographics which align with their campaign goals, said Twitter in a blogpost. It also suggested that telco marketers could promote loyalty and rewards to users on their specific devices, or reach new prospects on older devices.

Meanwhile, a new survey of 735 Facebook users by marketing consultancy Analytic Partners indicated that almost half the advertising in Facebook Newsfeeds reaches the target demographic, with 47% of respondents occasionally paying attention to or clicking on such ads.

Nancy Smith, founder and CEO of Analytic Partners said that, as Facebook rolled out new formats, features and functionality, "it's become increasingly apparent that in order to see a real return on investment through this channel, advertisers must better understand the behaviors that drive both short-term actions and long-term loyalty".

Despite the ad industry's rush to mobile, Analytic Partners' survey found that the desktop remained most effective for Facebook Newsfeed messages, as 85% of respondents were more inclined to pay attention to and/or click on a Newsfeed ad served to them on this device, while only 15% expressed interest in receiving the ads through a mobile app.

Users were also most likely to pay attention to traditional ads from brands they already followed (60%), while sponsored stories (27%) and non-related ads targeted by Facebook (13%) attracted much less interest.

There was, however, widespread opposition to videos appearing in a news feed playing automatically, according to the survey, with 83% of respondents saying they found this intrusive.

Not surprisingly, offers proved popular, with 67% of Facebook users likely to click on coupons or promotional codes. Contests or giveaways (41%) and videos (25%) were less attractive options.

Smith said Facebook had emerged as a mainstream advertising channel and noted that survey respondents preferred to receive ads on this platform ahead of other social networking sites.

But she added: "It's become increasingly important for marketers to carefully consider their methods of delivery across all advertising channels."

Data sourced from Twitter, Analytic Partners; additional content by Warc staff