Twitter Acquires Native Mobile Ads Startup Namo Media

NamoTwitter has snatched up mobile native advertising provider Namo Media, adding technology to enhance exchange-based monetization for app developers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, and Twitter declined to comment.

Namo Media has roughly eight employees, and will merge its product into the MoPub platform. The company’s SDK helps mobile app developers integrate native advertising by choosing from a set of native ad templates or creating their own formats.

Acquiring San Francisco-based Namo Media is another step in what has been a yearlong push by Twitter into native ad tech. Last October, it bought MoPub and followed that up this year with what it billed as “a complete solution for direct-sold and exchange-traded native ads,” which included a native ads SDK, a publisher-side ad server and an RTB extension.

Founded in 2013, Namo had raised $1.9 million to date with investors including Google Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

Twitter figures to be a strong player in mobile native ad tech, with the sheer volume of first-party data giving the company a compelling advantage over alternatives. In its Q1 2014 earnings, Twitter boasted 255 million active users, 78% of which are on mobile.

While Twitter’s snap-up of Namo Media pads out its mobile app monetization portfolio, Twitter’s partners say there’s room to improve usability on some of its direct-response tools – particularly with CRM matching and Tailored Audiences. One source described the process of using these tools as “clunky.”

For instance, while Twitter rolled out retargeting capabilities for its Tailored Audiences product in December (Tailored Audiences lets marketers segment and target to audiences that have demonstrated interest in a brand off-Twitter), partners complain it doesn’t have the levels of automation Facebook has with FBX.

The retargeting product “needs to get better (so we can do) more RTB-enabled stuff,” one source said. Twitter’s native, mobile and programmatic development is still largely separate from its direct-response pitch to advertisers in the form of products like lead-gen cards, they noted.

So while Namo Media enhances the capabilities of Twitter’s ad stack, it will still need to be integrated  which Twitter has and in some cases continues to struggle with.

Kelly Liyakasa contributed.



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