Twitter announced today it has completed the sale of its mobile ad platform, MoPub, to the mobile game maker and marketing software provider AppLovin for $1.05 billion in cash. The deal was first announced in October 2021, following Twitter’s reveal of its plan to double its revenue by 2023 to reach $7.5 billion or more. While MoPub had helped Twitter generate approximately $188 million in annual revenue in 2020, Twitter now sees more potential in developing other areas of its business amid its accelerated product development. Specifically, the company said it’s now redirecting its resources toward performance-based ads, SMB and commerce.
Today, Twitter reiterated its plans to further the development of its own owned and operated products.
“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,” said Bruce Falck, Twitter’s GM of Revenue Products, in a press release.
Previously, Twitter CFO Ned Segal had noted how MoPub’s sale allowed Twitter to concentrate on the “massive potential for ads” on its website and mobile apps.
But the deal also represents an opportunity for Twitter to invest in new areas of its business that could allow it to expand its revenue model beyond advertising alone. The company, over the past year or so, has significantly accelerated the pace of product development with launches like its audio chat rooms called Twitter Spaces, newsletters (via its Revue acquisition), online communities, a misinformation debunking project Birdwatch, paid subscription service Twitter Blue, creator economy tools and features like Super Follow and tipping, crypto, e-commerce including live shopping, and more. Combined, these products leave Twitter more opportunities to seek out revenue in new ways — like commissions on ticketed events or subscriptions, for example.
The sale of MoPub also came at a time when the mobile ad industry had been upset by changes implemented by Apple in its latest version of the iOS mobile operating system. With Apple’s new privacy-focused tools, more consumers can now opt out of being tracked by apps and advertisers, making a business like MoPub much less interesting for Twitter. AppLovin, however, sees the opportunity in leveraging MoPub’s demand- and supply-side tools into its larger in-app mediation platform, MAX, then migrate publishers and demand partners to the unified platform, further growing its business. The company says it expects to process more than $15 billion of annualized advertiser spend by 2023.
At the time of the deal, MoPub’s software was used by 45,000 mobile apps to manage their monetization and reached 1.5 billion addressable users around the world, AppLovin said. Today, more than 150 DSPs, representing thousands of brands and agencies, now have direct access to the AppLovin Exchange, the company adds.
“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,” said Adam Foroughi, AppLovin’s co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “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.”
The acquisition had been expected to close in early 2022.
Twitter today noted that the MoPub platform, including network mediation, Advanced Bidding and Marketplace, will be sunset on March 31, 2022. The MoPub Dashboard and Reporting will be available until April 8, 2022. Publishers will have a 90-day transition period from close to migrate off the MoPub platform to AppLovin’s MAX platform.