Twitter acquires Niche, a service that connects social media stars with brands

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As Twitter continues to explore ways of boosting its slow-growing user base, the company is also moving ahead with efforts to get more heavily involved in the ad game. To that end, it’s just acquired Niche, a New York-based startup that helps to connect social media stars with major brands.

The rise of sites like Instagram and Twitter-owned Vine has brought with it a growing band of Internet celebrities, ‘regular folk’ who’ve built up huge fan bases keen on following their online antics. Big-name brands are becoming increasingly interested in connecting with these stars, or, more importantly, with the millions of people that follow them, while some of these stars are looking for ways to monetize their audience. That’s where Niche comes in.

Say a company such as BMW or Coca-Cola is looking to launch a new ad campaign. They’ll get Niche to help find them an online celebrity that can effectively deliver their message, and to the right audience. If the star agrees, they’ll receive a fee to post an ad in their own style on their social media feed, and possibly on the brand’s feed too, taking the company’s message to potentially millions of people in the process.

In a post announcing its acquisition of Niche, Twitter included several Vine ads where Niche has helped social media stars like Robby Ayala and Zach King link up with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Chrysler Autos, and Lacoste.

The startup also helps the 6,500+ creators currently on its books to showcase their work from their various social media profiles. In addition, it provides tools to help them stay connected with fans, and lets them monitor activity to get a better understanding of what content works best.

Acquiring two-year-old Niche gives Twitter ownership of a startup making lucrative deals with global brands – among them Gap, Warner Bros., and those mentioned above – allowing it to profit from deals made across a growing range of social media platforms.

The terms of the acquisition haven’t been disclosed, though multiple reports suggest it was worth around $30 million.

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