In the fourth quarter of 2017, Twitter (TWTR) had 330 million active users, making it one of the 10 most-used social-media platforms in the world. Its success carried over into its financial statements: In 2017, Twitter reported $2.4 billion in revenue and a net loss of $108 million.
Gnip, a social media application programming interface API-aggregation company, was acquired by Twitter in 2014 for $134 million. Gnip was among the first social media API-aggregation service providers and was a long-time data provider to Twitter before the acquisition. Twitter extended its own data platform as well as its existing public APas a result of the acquisition. Gnip was founded in 2008 and is based out of Boulder, Col.
Magic Pony Technology
Twitter acquired Magic Pony Technology in 2016 in an effort to improve its machine-learning capabilities. The new subsidiary may also potentially improve the delivery of photos and videos across apps. The acquisition was valued at $150 million, and both cofounders of Magic Pony Technology were retained in the deal. Twitter will receive technology-related to neural network development and machine learning that can enhance video quality, expand a photograph’s size or develop virtual reality graphics. Twitter had previously acquired two other machine-learning startups—Whetlab in 2015 and Madbits in 2014.
MoPub Advertising Solutions
In 2013, Twitter embarked on developing a mobile advertising exchange. To do so, Twitter utilized the technology of MoPub through a $350 million acquisition. Headquartered in San Francisco, MoPub hosts the world’s largest mobile advertising server with a real-time bidding exchange. This marketplace allows for advertisers to automate and scale purchases, while targeting users based on previous web or mobile usage history. At the time of the acquisition, MoPub reported $100 million of pass-through revenue per year. No cash was exchanged in the acquisition, as MoPub received common stock in the deal.
Twitter acquired the live-video streaming start-up Periscope in 2015. The subsidiary, which launched its own app separate from Twitter, enables users to watch live or previously broadcasted mobile video streams. Just under $100 million of stock and cash were exchanged in the acquisition. Twitter acquired Periscope to further develop its video capabilities, including the offering of real-time broadcasting services.
As of June 2016, Twitter’s largest acquisition was a $479 million stock purchase to acquire TellApart. The digital advertisement platform boosts Twitter’s advertising revenue generated by ads that resemble tweets and encourages users to perform a certain action. In addition, TellApart specializes in targeting users to monitor usage across mobile and desktop devices.
In 2011, Twitter acquired TweetDeck — a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts — for $40 million. “TweetDeck provides brands, publishers, marketers and others with a powerful platform to track all the real-time conversations they care about," a blogpost by the company said of the acquisition.