Bloomberg News

Twitter Says Gnip Cost $134.1 Million, Warns of Credit Card Risk

August 12, 2014

Twitter Inc. (TWTR:US) said it paid $134.1 million for social data provider Gnip Inc. in May.

The price included $107.3 million in cash, with the rest in stock, the San Francisco-based company said in a regulatory filing yesterday.

The acquisition gave Twitter more control over information gleaned from the content flowing through its network. Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) paid more than $200 million for Topsy, a Gnip competitor, in December, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Twitter also said in the filing that it may be liable for risks related to “credit card processing.” That’s the latest hint related to the company’s interest in becoming a center for e-commerce. People can’t buy directly through the site yet, but Twitter has been building a strategy for the possibility and recently agreed to buy CardSpring Inc., a service that lets users redeem deals and discounts through merchants’ tweets.

Separately, Twitter revised the data for the portion of users accessing the microblogging service via third-party applications, and therefore don’t see advertisements. Twitter reported that 11 percent of active users accessed its service via outside apps in the latest quarter, after recalculating the data from an initial 14 percent.

Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Twitter, referred to a statement in an updated earnings presentation when asked about the change: “Twitter previously indicated that for this period approximately 14 percent of all active users used applications that have the capability to automatically contact our servers for regular updates, but later discovered that this number included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications.”

Spam Accounts

An internal review estimated that false or spam accounts represent less than 5 percent of Twitter members, and the company is seeking to improve its ability to detect them. Spam accounts that have been identified aren’t included in the number of active members, which topped 271 million last quarter.

The shares rose 2.7 percent to $44.43 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. Before today, they had gained 66 percent since the November 2013 initial public offering.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net John Lear, James Callan


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    (Twitter Inc)
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    (Apple Inc)
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