- Twitter this week acquired CrossInstall, a mobile-focused demand-side platform (DSP) that will expand the social network's marketing services for app developers. CrossInstall is focused on user acquisition campaigns for mobile apps with ad formats that include playable ads, per an announcement.
- Gaming companies such as Machine Zone, Jam City, SGN and PuzzleSocial make up most of the client base for CrossInstall, which was founded in 2012. CrossInstall, which has 70 employees in five offices worldwide, will operate as an independent company, AdExchanger reported.
- CrossInstall has collaborated with Twitter's rivals such as Facebook, Snap and Google in delivering playable ads on their platforms. Twitter will consider how to manage the connections with those digital media outlets as it integrates operations with CrossInstall, AdExchanger reported. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.
Twitter's acquisition of CrossInstall is a sign of the growing significance of performance advertising, which is a key marketing strategy for app developers that seek to drive downloads from app stores. CrossInstall specializes in playable ads — or "playables" — that aim to engage mobile users while they're looking through their social media feeds by giving them a sample of gameplay. Playables can help to boost customer satisfaction by offering a more complete picture of gameplay while also decreasing the likelihood that mobile users will delete the apps, resulting in wasteful ad spending for app developers.
As AdExchanger notes, performance advertising has performed well during the coronavirus pandemic as homebound consumers have increased their mobile usage. With smartphone users looking for entertainment while stuck indoors, mobile gaming surged by 24% in late March, per mobile ad firm AdColony. Its research found that 45% of U.S. consumers played mobile games, and 33% played games multiple times a day.
For Twitter, the acquisition of CrossInstall helps to complement its suite of mobile advertising services that includes MoPub, which the company acquired for $350 million in 2013. Twitter is seeking to regain momentum after reporting that revenue grew 3% in Q1 from a year earlier, an increase that didn't keep pace with digital media rivals like Facebook, Pinterest and Snap.