Twitter has acquired mobile advertising firm MoPub in a bid to increase the effectiveness and relevance of ads it displays in its mobile apps.
Currently Twitter's mobile advertising consists of "sponsored tweets", which appear in users' feeds as well as within search results, and this acquisition is intended to make the management of often time-sensitive campaigns easier for advertisers.
Perhaps most interesting to large-scale advertisers is the potential for real-time bidding for advertisements based on certain keywords, which Kevin Weil, Twitter's vice president of revenue product, said would allow them to "more easily automate and scale their buys".
Anthony Mullen, marketing analyst at Forrester, told V3 that this purchase would change the way advertisers work with Twitter. "One of the characteristics of Twitter is that it's much better for real-time, time-sensitive and location-sensitive advertising," he explained.
"The advertisements won't appear any different, but the mechanics behind them will, and the intelligence backstage will improve."
Twitter said that it would continue to develop MoPub and that the firm would continue to take on new clients outside of Twitter. Weil explained Twitter's reasoning, saying that the firm could expand advertising to other parts of the mobile ecosystem. MoPub's co-founder and chief executive Jim Payne wrote on the firm's blog that the buy would benefit its current customers.
"It's important to underscore that our commitment to you, the publisher, will not change," he affirmed. "In fact, it will be strengthened. Twitter will invest in our core business and we will continue to build the tools and technology you need to better run your mobile advertising business."
Today is my 3 year anniversary @Twitter. Decided to celebrate by agreeing to acquire MoPub. We've come a long way in 3 yrs! Here's to more!— adam bain (@adambain) September 10, 2013
Mobile advertising has become a big issue for social networks in the last year. Facebook's elevated stock price of recent months is in large part down to its big push for better mobile advertising following investor criticism.
This is the latest in a long line of acquisitions for Twitter, which last month bought social TV analytics firm Trendrr to take advantage of the burgeoning second-screen market.
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