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Twitter Buys Cloudhopper To Bolster Its SMS Service

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In a blog post published just minutes ago, Twitter has announced another snack-sized acquisition.

This time, it has purchased a small wireless technology company called Cloudhopper, based in Seattle, for an undisclosed sum.

Here’s Twitter’s reasoning for making the buy:

Over the last eight months we have been working with a startup called Cloudhopper to become one of the highest volume SMS programs in the world—Twitter processes close to a billion SMS tweets per month and that number is growing around the world from Indonesia to Australia, the UK, the US, and beyond.

To help us further grow and scale our SMS service, we are happy to announce the acquisition of Cloudhopper, a messaging infrastructure company that enables Twitter to connect directly to mobile carrier networks in countries all over the planet.

This is fairly vague – we’ve contacted the company for more detailed information.

Update: a Twitter spokesperson tells us that Cloudhopper has been helping the company with carrier integrations in the past 8 months. He didn’t share much about plans for the future (yet) but says to expect “deeper, more innovative SMS integration around the world”.

Here’s how Cloudhopper pitches website visitors on its homepage:

Cloudhopper provides mobile messaging technology and expertise to businesses in the wireless space. Currently, Cloudhopper powers some of the largest and most successful mobile messaging (SMS and MMS) campaigns in North America, Europe, and Africa.

Based on its patent pending intellectual property, Cloudhopper supplies the underlying software and infrastructure to reliably scale and geographically disperse some of the world’s highest volume messaging programs — all with zero downtime.

Cloudhopper’s Joe Lauer and Kristin Kanaar will be added to Twitter’s mobile team.

Lauer founded Cloudhopper in late 2008, according to the website. Previously, he was the Founder and VP of Simplewire, one of the first SMS aggregators in North America. Simplewire was acquired by Qpass in 2006 and is now known as OpenMarket, a division of Amdocs.

Here’s his tweet about the acquisition, which he says kicks off the next chapter in his life.

This acquisition marks Twitter’s fifth, after picking up smaller startups like Summize, Values of n and more recently Mixer Labs and Tweetie maker Atebits.

The purchase was announced by Kevin Thau, who joined Twitter in early 2009 and is responsible for Twitter’s mobile strategy, products, and partnerships.

At least this time, you can’t really say it’s filling any holes.

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