Twitter buys New York advertising start-up Niche

Twitter has announced its acquisition of Niche, a New York-based start-up which has been described as a 'social media talent agency'.

The amount Twitter paid has not yet been confirmed, though recode.net has suggested it was around $30 million (£19.6 million).

How does Niche work exactly?

Niche connects advertisers with social media 'stars' (that is, social media users who have found their fame on social platforms such as Vine and Twitter – not already-established celebrities who use social media).

Due to the number of followers these social media stars have (often several million), they are approached and paid to advertise specific products on behalf of companies.

As an example, the video below shows Robbie Ayala, a Vine user with over 3 million followers, advertising the HP x360 laptop:

Ayala is a former law student whose Vine following snowballed during one summer break, in which he amassed over a million followers.

Shortly after returning to university at the end of that summer he received a phone call from Niche co-founder Darren Lachtman, who asked if he would be interested in producing a branded Vine video for money.

Ayala dropped out of university and now works for Niche.

What else has Twitter bought recently?

This Niche deal is Twitter's second acquisition this year, the first being its January purchase of ZipDial – an Indian 'missed-call marketing' company.

Missed-call marketing is extremely popular in countries where the majority of the population has a mobile phone but not a smartphone – and therefore no access to internet or social media on-the-go.

Calling someone and hanging up before they answer is a very popular means of communication in India, because it is a free way of alerting the recipient that you want their attention – like when UK taxi companies call customers when their taxi arrives.

When ZipDial started in 2010, it told customers they would receive the India vs. Pakistan cricket score if they made a missed call to the company. This resulted in over 4 million calls in one day.

It was not long before global brands such as Coca-Cola realised the potential of missed-call marketing and began to capitalise on it. An example would be a Coca-Cola billboard advertising a phone number for consumers to call in order to receive coupons and other promotions.

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