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Twitter buys a mobile ad network for reportedly $350M in stock

The information network purchases startup MoPub to help it serve and automate ads on iOS and Android.

The MoPub dashboard.
Screenshot by Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

Twitter has purchased MoPub, makers of a mobile advertising network, the company announced Monday. The deal was said to cost Twitter $350 million in stock, according to TechCrunch.

Founded in 2010, MoPub manages and optimizes ads for mobile applications, and runs its own real-time bidding exchange. The startup, which raised more than $18 million in funding, runs an ad serving platform and claims to serve more than 1 billion ads per day to app users on iOS and Android.

"We think there is a key opportunity to extend many types of native advertising across the mobile ecosystem through the MoPub exchange," Twitter's Vice President of Revenue Kevin Weil wrote in a blog post. "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 and MoPub both said that the information network will continue to operate MoPub's business as is. "Twitter will invest in our core business and we will continue to build the tools and technology you need to better run your mobile advertising business," the acquired company wrote on its blog.

The buy is a big one for Twitter that signifies the company's interest in commanding more of the mobile ad market, which is dominated by Google and Facebook. Twitter is anticipated to grab 1.85 percent of global mobile ad market revenue this year, according to eMarketer, which pegged Google's share at 53.17 percent and Facebook's at 16 percent.

"The two major trends in the ad world right now are the rapid consumer shift toward mobile usage, and the industry shift to programmatic buying," Weil said. "Twitter sits at the intersection of these, and we think by bringing MoPub's technology and team to Twitter, we can further drive these trends for the benefit of consumers, advertisers, and agencies."