What Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub means for marketers

Yesterday, Twitter announced that it was acquiring mobile ads exchange startup MoPub, for a reported $350 million, making it Twitter’s largest acquisition to date.

This is a clear play by Twitter to increase its advertising revenues ahead of its expected IPO. next year. By acquiring MoPub, Twitter is essentially making it easier, and quicker for advertisers to use its platform. Here’s how:

Real-time bidding for ad space:

Advertisers will be able to use MoPub’s technology to bid for ad space in real time on the Twitter platform, using an automated system. This massively cuts down the time and effort for advertisers placing ads on Twitter, which requires manual programming for things like targeting users by age, location and interest. This shift to “programmatic advertising” is already an industry trend for desktop, but mobile ads are of course the Holy Grail at the moment, and by providing that technology, Twitter is giving advertisers a big incentive to use its platform.

Providing ad placement across all mobile apps: 

By acquiring MoPub, Twitter is expanding its business to become the go-to place when advertisers want to go mobile. One of MoPub’s core services is to act as a middleman for advertisers looking to place ads on different mobile apps. This means Twitter won’t just make it easier to place mobile ads on its own platform, its going to facilitate placing ads on other mobile apps too. Speaking to The New York Times, Twitter’s vice president of revenue products Kevin Weil said, “We are going to continue to invest and extend MoPub’s existing business, and that means selling ads in other apps on iOS and Android.”

Help with native advertising:

Announcing the acquisition on the company blog, MoPub’s CEO Jim Payne wrote, “In addition to investing in new capabilities for our publisher platform, we believe there are opportunities to bring better native advertising to the mobile ecosystem. With the support of the team and resources of Twitter, we’ll be able to move even more quickly towards the realization of our original vision. ”

This means MoPub and Twitter will help advertisers (along with mobile app developers) design ads to resemble the content in which they are being placed, whether it’s service apps or mobile games. Much like publications who are letting editorial staff contribute ideas for native ads, Twitter will have an in-house team to optimize the quality and impact of native ads on its platform. 

But will they be able to avoid hilarious ad placements like this? Probably not. In fact unfortunate content showing up next to ads might happen even more with a shift towards automatic ad placements. In which case, expect more bloopers.

The bottom line, MoPub brings technological as well as advertising consultancy capabilities to Twitter. The goal will be to deliver better ad experiences for mobile as well as make life easier for advertisers. 


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