Twitter buys Magic Pony to help with its efforts in live and video tweets

Twitter has bought an artificial intelligence startup to bolster its quest to improve live tweets and video technology on the social network site, the company said on its blog Monday.

San Francisco-based Twitter bought London-based Magic Pony Technology. Magic Pony uses a process called machine learning, a way of teaching software to perform tasks without specific programming instructions.

“Machine learning is increasingly at the core of everything we build at Twitter,” Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, said in the blog post. “It’s powering much of the work we’re doing to make it easier to create, share, and discover the very best content.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. However, TechCrunch estimated that Magic Pony was bought for up to $150 million.

“Our acquisition of Magic Pony builds on other investments we’ve made in machine learning, beginning with the acquisitions of Madbits in July 2014 and Whetlab in June 2015,” Dorsey wrote in the blog post.

Magic Pony’s technology – based on research by the team to create algorithms that can understand the features of imagery – will be used to enhance our strength in live and video and opens up a whole lot of exciting creative possibilities,” Dorsey stated on the blog.

To bolster its advertising revenue, Twitter has been seeking to improve its platform by adding fresh capabilities, such as video.

Over the most recent 12 months, Twitter lost $438.3 million on $2.38 billion in revenue.

During the same period, Twitter’s shares have plunged 53.7 percent. So far this year, shares have tumbled 28.9 percent. Last week, though, its stock jumped 14.8 percent.

Nevertheless, Twitter’s shares remain well below their initial public offering price of $26 a share. The company went public in November 2013, but investors have turned queasy in recent years when the social network failed to move the revenue needle enough to placate Wall Street.

The company has lagged social network rivals such as Menlo Park-based Facebook when measured by stock performance, sales and net income, and ability to capture revenue from advertisers.

Photo: Twitter logo (Getty Images)

 

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