Twitter buys TapCommerce to boost advertising abilities

The company's latest acquisition adds advertising retargeting technology.

James Martin/Twitter

Twitter on Monday said it's purchasing TapCommerce, a mobile device advertising technology firm, as it aims to expand its business beyond its core social network.

TapCommerce's technology, which is used by the likes of eBay and game maker Supercell, attempts to convince users who downloaded an app to reopen and use it. The technology can be particularly appealing to retailers, who could direct users to their already-installed app to help finish a sale.

Both companies confirmed the deal, though neither said for how much. Tech blog Recode said the price paid was about $100 million. A Twitter spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Consumers are starting to use their phones not just to install and use apps, but for making purchases of both virtual and real-world products and services," Richard Alfonsi, VP of global online sales at Twitter, said in a statement. "Advertisers spend aggressively to get new users, but reactivating existing or previous users can provide just as attractive a return on investment."

Twitter's latest purchase augments its already existing efforts to expand its business model beyond its core social-networking technology. While Twitter makes money from selling advertising in the form of a "promoted tweet" on the service, which can be viewed by users, it is spending big to grow a business outside its website and apps as well.

The biggest move was last September, when it reportedly spent $350 million in stock to acquire MoPub, an advertising technology firm that attempts to connect advertisers with app developers. TapCommerce already works with MoPub, the companies said, making the acquisition relatively easy.

About the author

Ian Sherr is an executive editor for the west coast at CNET News. He writes about social networking and manages coverage of video games, Internet giants, cybersecurity, the sharing economy, e-commerce and wearable tech. Previously, he wrote about Apple, the PC industry and video games at The Wall Street Journal. He's also written for Reuters and the Agence France-Presse, among others. He's a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, though he knows what real weather feels like too.


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