Robin Langford Robin Langford Premium Content Editor, Performance Marketing World

Twitter sells mobile ad platform for a billion dollars

Despite MoPub generating strong revenue, Twitter’s mobile ad ambitions have been thwarted by Apple’s new privacy opt-ins.

Twitter has officially completed the sale of its mobile ad platform MoPub to mobile game maker and marketing software provider AppLovin, for a hefty $1.05billion price tag.

MoPub helped Twitter generate around $190million in revenue during 2020. However, the company felt that having the platform was affecting its ability to perform well in other areas, such as catering to small businesses and e-commerce, both of which are strong areas for larger rival Meta (the owner of Facebook). 

Bruce Falck, General Manager of Revenue Products at Twitter, said the social network will continue to put its efforts into enhancing its own advertising platform.

"With the sale of MoPub completed, we continue to concentrate our efforts on enhancing ads across our platform. Our goal is to deliver faster growth in key areas and accelerate our product development," Falck said in a statement. 

A 10 billion dollar problem 

The mobile advertising industry is in flux at the moment as Apple continues to push privacy policies to prevent its customers from being tracked over the internet.

Having acquired MoPub in 2013 to improve its advertising platform, Twitter  has now decided to sell it as it aims to focus on other products. 

In 2020, Twitter revealed how it was expecting a “modest impact” on its revenue due to the privacy changes introduced with iOS 14. A recent Financial Times report estimated that Apple’s new privacy policies will cost social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Snap nearly $10billion.

While Twitter enjoys high cultural and political influence as a social network, this power is disproportionate to its finances, which are generally much weaker than rivals such as Instagram and TikTok. 

This has resulted in an ambitious plan to double revenues to $7.5billion per year by 2023.

How the sale affects performance marketers

The deal was originally announced in October 2021. At the time of the deal, AppLovin said that MoPub was being used by 45,000 apps to monetise, reaching 1.5 billion addressable users around the world. 

The transition of the MoPub platform to AppLovin is expected to be completed by March 2022.

As part of the sale, the MoPub platform, including network mediation, Advanced Bidding, and Marketplace, will sunset on March 31, 2022. 

The MoPub Dashboard and Reporting will be available until April 8, 2022. Publishers will benefit from a 90-day transition period from close to migrate off the MoPub platform. AppLovin has said it will directly assist customers in their migration to the AppLovin MAX platform.

Adam Foroughi, CEO of AppLovin, says: "Developers benefit from more features to help drive higher monetization opportunities and streamline workflows, leading to increased revenue for their businesses. We believe the power of this unified platform will be unparalleled in today’s market.

“We are excited to execute on this strategic acquisition with our sights set on operating the largest and most robust in-app advertising platform that enhances the growth of the broader mobile app ecosystem.”