Advertising group joins Twitter’s growing flock

Oliver Smith
Follow Oliver

TWITTER has bought the mobile advertising exchange MoPub in what is widely seen as another move towards its initial public offering (IPO) expected early next year.

MoPub is a mobile-focused advertising exchange with a stated goal of “enabling the development of a new ads economy in mobile”.

“The big issue for an IPO is if they can show they can monetise the service for investors,” said Max Wolff analyst at Greencrest Capital, who believes that the MoPub acquisition is preparing Twitter to go public.

Twitter said on Monday it will continue to operate MoPub’s core business, while implementing MoPub’s technology to build real time bidding into Twitter’s advertising platform.

The acquisition, along with many of the company’s recent hirings and purchases, have been seen by many as moves to fill in the gaps in Twitter’s offering before eventually floating the company on the stock market.

Twitter described the purchase as, “a key opportunity to extend many types of native advertising across the mobile ecosystem through the MoPub exchange.”

“We believe there are opportunities to bring better native advertising to the mobile ecosystem,” said MoPub chief executive Jim Payne.

Since 2008 Twitter have made nearly 30 purchases and acquisitions, with 2013 being its busiest with eight companies “joining the flock” so far this year.

Outgoing Twitter UK boss Tony Wang last week announced that Twitter has 15m users in the UK. Twitter said their total user base had reached 500m as of July 2012; in comparison Facebook reported 1.2bn users as of March 2013.