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Mobile ad tech startup TapCommerce now belongs to Twitter

Re/code journalist Ina Fried has revealed that New York’s mobile tech startup TapCommerce has just been acquired by Twitter.

Founded in 2012, TapCommerce rapidly established itself as a leader in mobile ad retargeting. As any product manager familiar with the process could testify, while it’s relatively straightforward on desktop devices to help businesses target ads based on a user’s previous activity, the absence of cookies on mobile demands an altogether new approach.

Desirable technology

That’s where TapCommerce stepped in: according to its CEO and co-founder, Brian Long, it was able to retarget ads on mobile devices by using “large amounts of data coupled with sophisticated statistical analysis.” An ecommerce app, for instance, could be fed with retargeted ads by TapCommerce to encourage lapsed customers to come back by tempting them with new sales or promotions.

The new deal with Twitter is said to be worth $100 million, although the microblogging juggernaut has so far declined to confirm the price tag. But if that’s an accurate ball park figure, you don’t need to be a seasoned product manager to figure out that TapCommerce’s platform was being eyed hungrily by the social networking giant, which has just announced new mobile app install and engagement ads. The startup’s technology is likely to be of considerable assistance to these projects.

The deal clinchers

In a blog article, Twitter’s VP of Global Online Sales, Richard Alfonsi, wrote that with the TapCommerce team now on board, “Twitter will be able to offer mobile app marketers more robust capabilities for app re-engagement, tools and managed service solutions for real-time programmatic buying, and better measurement capabilities. Combined with our other ad solutions, advertisers will be able to drive conversions and ROI with mobile consumers on and off of Twitter, across the full user lifecycle — from acquiring new users through app installs, to engaging existing users who already have the advertisers’ apps on their device.”

Everyday mobile users, he added, can now expect to find better and more relevant ads appearing in their apps.

The enquiring product manager may be interested in what exactly made TapCommerce such an attractive option for Twitter. Alfonsi told TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha that the startup’s support for programmatic ad buying, coupled with its app reengagement and its client list (which overlaps considerably with Twitter’s) were the deal clinchers.

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