Twitter sells app ad platform MoPub for $1 bn

Twitter said Wednesday it has made a deal to sell app advertising specialty firm MoPub for a little more than a billion dollars in cash.

Money from the sale of MoPub to Silicon Valley-based AppLovin Corporation is to be put into building revenue-generating features at Twitter and promoting growth at the one-to-many broadcasting platform.

“The sale of MoPub is all about increased focus, redirecting our resources and delivering faster growth in a number of key areas,” Twitter revenue product lead Bruce Falck said in a release. AppLovin is a mobile technology company that provides services for developers to publish, improve and make money from apps.

As part of Twitter, MoPub generated approximately $188 million in revenue last year, according to the companies.
Twitter chief Jack Dorsey has made a priority of rolling out new features at a fast clip, with the aim of increasing revenue and the amount of time people spend on the platform.

MoPub’s sale “demonstrates confidence in our revenue product roadmap,” Dorsey said in a release.

Twitter has a goal of at least doubling total annual revenue from $3.7 billion last year to $7.5 billion this year, according to chief financial officer Ned Segal.

The site last month began allowing high-profile users to get tips in bitcoin, as the network steps up its wooing of the content creators essential to drawing crowds online.

Platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube have built their popularity among young people in large part because of these social media stars.

Attracting and keeping creators and their audiences has therefore become crucial for the tech companies battling to attract an audience — and advertising profits. “We want Twitter to be the best place for creators to have conversations with their fans, and to monetize their audience,” product lead Esther Crawford told reporters in a briefing.

Twitter has been testing a tipping option that is being rolled out worldwide to Apple device-specific versions of its app, with bitcoin as a currency option. The network is also working on a system to offer verification of NFTs — non-fungible tokens — that are at the heart of a digital collecting boom.

Sales of NFTs — virtual images of anything from popular internet memes to original artwork — have swept the art world, with some fetching millions of dollars at major auction houses.

Twitter said it is ramping up tools for users to keep exchanges on the platform civil, or avoid wading into unexpectedly contentious online conversations.

Possible options include improving tools for filtering out comments considered offensive, and giving people a “heads up” prompt when they join a potentially heated conversation on the platform.

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