Twitter has acquired MoPub, a mobile-focused advertising exchange that could help the social network grow its ad business as more users move away from the desktop.
MoPub offers a hosted service that app publishers use to manage inventory from multiple sources -- direct ads, house ads, ad networks and real-time bidding -- all through a single product, Twitter said in a blog post Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MoPub's clients include WordPress, Songza, OpenTable, Flixster and Scopely, according to MoPub's own website.
Twitter said the acquisition will help it address two big trends: consumers' shift to mobile and industry's shift to programmatic buying.
With a possible IPO looming, Twitter is under pressure to make more money at a time when users are migrating away from the desktop and spending more time on smartphones and tablets.
It cited an opportunity to "extend many types of native advertising across the mobile ecosystem through the MoPub exchange."
The technology will also allow Twitter to build real-time bidding into its ad platform, "so our advertisers can more easily automate and scale their buys," Kevin Weil, VP of product for revenue at Twitter, said in the post.
Google operates a similar ad exchange with DoubleClick, which it acquired in 2007.
Gartner analyst Brian Blau said MoPub's technology could help Twitter serve ads to more consumers outside of Twitter.com and the company's own mobile app. It will also help Twitter compete against ad networks like DoubleClick, Millennial and Flurry, he said.
MoPub serves billions of mobile ads worldwide every month, MoPub CEO Jim Payne said in the company's own blog post.
"Twitter will invest in our core business," he said, and MoPub will continue to build tools publishers need to run their mobile advertising business.
MoPub was launched in 2010.