While all the attention yesterday was on speculation that Twitter was going to attempt to spend billions on an acquisition like Soundcloud or Spotify to secure more growth, the company announced a more humble purchase this morning, buying native ad platform Namo Media.
The size of the sale has been guessed at $50 million. Most of Namo Media’s staff of eight will join Twitter and work directly with MoPub, its own mobile ad network. A blog posted to the company website said that alongside Twitter it will “continue to work on building the best native advertising platform for app developers with the goal of continuing to improve the native ad landscape…”
Twitter has built out its ad offerings on its site cautiously. Its sidebars remain untouched by advertising. It is likely that Namo Media will use its expertise to develop new native offerings outside of cards or sponsored tweets. Given Namo Media’s focus on native advertising mobile-web-wide, creating a program that integrates with the site being looked at to seamlessly work in ads, it will likely become a tool to help Twitter one day soon sell ads outside of its site and app.
Twitter is having a rough time of it lately, trading at just $32, down from a post-IPO high of $73. Acquiring Namo Media won’t do much to assuage investor anxiety, but it does provide a reminder that when bagging Twitter’s chances people are only looking at one side of the equation. Yes, its user growth isn’t good, or as good as Facebook. But it has got a long way to go until it has fully-monetized its current user base and optimized its own considerable advertising assets.
There are worse business models than having 255 active, engaged monthly users. Today’s development is another small step toward better cashing in on the strengths Twitter currently has.