Twitter raises the ad stakes with Facebook and Google by buying mobile ad company MoPub

Twitter is proving a surprisingly strong competitor in the social media ad world and it’s improved its position somewhat by agreeing to buy mobile advertising company MoPub for an estimated $300m plus in Twitter shares. Twitter is expected to seek an IPO later this year or next.

MoPub helps advertisers target users more specifically and in real time, for example during live events. It will continue to allow agencies to buy ads across other websites as well as Twitter, allowing an expansion of Twitter’s services beyond its own site for the first time.

“Mobile is obviously key to Twitter as a whole and to our advertising platform,” says Kevin Weil, Twitter’s vice-president for revenue products.

MoPub, which turns over about $100m (ten times its previous annual revenue) was founded by former AdMob executives. AdMob was bought by Google for $750m four years ago.

It’s anyone’s guess who’s going to win the mobile ads/apps ad race but the small size of Twitter posts (once seen as its biggest drawback) suits the mobile medium better than its competitors and the company has built up its advertising platform rapidly and at relatively low cost.

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