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Twitter to buy mobile ad exchange MoPub

The $350m deal is the largest for the social networking service.

Twitter has agreed to acquire mobile advertising exchange MoPub for $350m in an effort to launch its independent mobile advertising exchange in the near future.

As well as enhancing its relationship with conventional media firms, the deal will also support Twitter’s ad sales platform and e-commerce services as it plans to file a new initial public offering.

With annual revenues of more than $100m, MoPub is a hosted ad serving solution built specifically for mobile publishers.

Kevin Weil, vice president for revenue products at Twitter, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying: “Mobile is obviously key to Twitter as a whole and to our advertising platform. Allowing advertisers to buy ads in real time, at the instant they are delivered to the app user, improves targeting and relevance for both brands and users.”

As part of acquisition, about 100 employees of MoPub will join Twitter, while MoPub CEO Jim Payne will become vice president and will report to Twitter’s revenue head Adam Bain, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Research firm eMarketer estimates that Twitter’s advertising revenues will reach $1bn in 2014.

Payne, in a statement, said: “Like MoPub, Twitter has been ‘mobile first’ since their inception, which makes our two companies a natural match. In addition to investing in new capabilities for our publisher platform, we believe there are opportunities to bring better native advertising to the mobile ecosystem. With the support of the team and resources of Twitter, we’ll be able to move even more quickly towards the realization of our original vision.”

In August, AOL has agreed to acquire video ad platform for $405m, while Millennial Media has agreed to acquire Jumptap for $225m.