Twitter acquires mobile adtech firm CrossInstall

13 May 2020

Image: © Andrei/

After Twitter said that it is prioritising the development of revenue products, the company has acquired mobile ad firm CrossInstall.

On Tuesday (12 May), interactive, programmatic advertising firm CrossInstall announced that it has been acquired by Twitter.

The start-up, which was founded in 2012 by Jeff Marshall, Bobby McFarland, Jesse Manuel, Peter Kassakian and Greg Lin, helps app developers drive user acquisition through playable ads in gaming and non-gaming mobile apps.

The CrossInstall team said that the deal marks a “major milestone” for its founders, advertisers, employees and network of designers and developers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

‘Commitment to performance advertising’

In a blogpost, the start-up said: “We started small. There were five co-founders and a handful of employees working in a windowless office in downtown San Francisco. We had no funding and very little tech. Nobody knew what a ‘playable ad’ was and the term ‘programmatic’ was still being used by every ad platform, even though few in mobile knew what it meant.”

CrossInstall now has almost 70 employees across five global offices, developing a machine learning system and thousands of playable ads. The start-up has partnerships with Facebook, Snap and Google App Campaigns.

“The combination of CrossInstall and Twitter will highlight Twitter’s commitment to performance advertising,” it added. “Together we’ll be working to expand Twitter’s reach into all areas of app install and performance advertising while increasing the value that MoPub offers to mobile app developers. Together, we have a clear mission.”

MoPub is a monetisation platform for mobile apps, designed to help publishers manage their ad inventory, which was purchased by Twitter in 2013 for $350m.

Plans for the future

CrossInstall said that it will be working closely with Twitter in the coming months to build a “comprehensive plan” on how the two companies can further grow their partnership.

“Our advertiser clients – many of whom have become friends with us at CrossInstall – will benefit tremendously from the new resources and scale we can bring to their campaigns.”

According to AdWeek, CrossInstall will operate as a standalone unit in the near term, but Twitter will explore integration possibilities over time, with the goal of integrating CrossInstall into its ad stack.

On Twitter’s Q1 earnings call last month, chief financial officer Ned Segal said that developing revenue products is the company’s main priority. The company is also currently rebuilding its ad server.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic