Twitter Sneaks Up On Facebook Advertising Like Hobbits Entering Mordor

By Mary C. Long 

While the great eye of the tech community focused squarely on Apple this week, Twitter took the opportunity to sneak through the black gates of mobile advertising in a way that’s SURE to shake up Facebook. And, as Gigaom points out, it went largely unnoticed.

In a move that’s said to have cost them $350 million, Twitter has acquired MoPub, the world’s largest mobile ad exchange.

Shares in Twitter have risen by $20 since the announcement. This isn’t something to be taken lightly — it’s already being compared to when Google bought DoubleClick in 2007.

The acquisition of MoPub will allow third-party users to manage advertising inventory on iOS and Android platforms, plan campaigns in advance and bid for ads in real-time. 

By using browsing data — of both the desktop and mobile variety — combined with data acquired through Twitter, advertisers are looking at what could be the most effective targeted marketing we’ve ever had. 

And Facebook is not going to be happy about that. They’ve been trying for some time now to achieve something similar with their ad exchange. 

From an advertiser’s point of you, this acquisition is great news. Twitter may become your new go-to for advertising.

But, for the consumer on the receiving end, the whole thing is kind of scary. We’ve had privacy issues before, and although Twitter is usually better behaved than Facebook in that respect, they were caught spying not too long ago.

Nevertheless, we’re still glad Twitter got there first — it’s the lesser of two evils, and, well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.

But the question remains: can Twitter be trusted with all this data? Is the future of mobile advertising in the hands of a trusty hobbit, or will we soon have a power-hungry ring-wraith to deal with?