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Twitter’s acquisition of MoPub highlights the importance of real-time bidding

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TechCrunch has confirmed that Twitter has acquired MoPub, a startup aimed at helping publishers gauge the performance of mobile ads. Neither company disclosed terms, but Twitter reportedly outbid Millennial Media and other suitors with an offer of $350 million in stock. (In another piece of evidence that the mobile ad industry is consolidating, Millennial last month bought Jumptap in a deal valued at $200 million.)

The move is sure to boost mobile ad revenues in a big way for Twitter, which has made some impressive strides in the space over the last year or so. (And it’s worth noting that eMarketer predicted in June that Twitter will continue to see its share of the U.S. mobile ad market to grow over the next few years, outpacing both Millennial and Apple’s iAd.)

It’s unclear, however, just how Twitter plans to use its new acquisition. As the TechCrunch piece notes, Twitter could opt to use MoPub’s technology only within its own offering, or MoPub might be a way to extend its mobile advertising business to other sites and services. Regardless, Twitter’s official blog post announcing the deal provided a little information about what made MoPub so attractive: “We also plan to use MoPub’s technology to build real-time bidding into the Twitter ads platform so our advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys,” Twitter’s Kevin Weil wrote. And that’s one more big reason to believe that real-time bidding will play a major role in mobile advertising — for the next few years, anyway.