Twitter acquires Niche, a social-media talent scout

Niche helps online stars on services like Vine to find advertisers

Twitter's partnership with Niche helped to create this ad for Hewlett-Packard on Vine.

Twitter's partnership with Niche helped to create this ad for Hewlett-Packard on Vine.

Twitter is acquiring Niche, a New York startup that matches social media stars with advertisers, helping Twitter tap into the lucrative world of Internet celebrity.

Niche was founded in 2013 and helps hot creators on platforms like Vine, Instagram and YouTube to make money by matching them with brands that want to reach a similar audience. Niche has partnered with Twitter in the past, helping to create ads like this one for Hewlett-Packard on Vine.

Vine has become popular for uploading short videos and some of the most popular creators have millions of followers. Niche has served as a link between those creators and advertisers.

By acquiring Niche, Twitter gains a talent agency for the digital age. Niche's service might also help Twitter's appeal to advertisers who want to reach a younger audience on new platforms. That could help Twitter to grow its crucial ads business.

"As more users and creators use different products as a way to share what's happening in their world, brands are also looking to partner with those individuals in hopes of generating moments that resonate with the people they are trying to reach," said Baljeet Singh, director of product management at Twitter, in the company's announcement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though a report on Re/code cited a price of roughly US$30 million. Twitter did not immediately respond to comment further.

Niche says it has more than 6,500 creators in its network including photographers, visual artists and fashionistas. It helps them earn revenue through its partnerships with more than 100 brands including Coca-Cola, Aetna and BMW. Niche also provides analytics services across desktop and mobile.

Niche is a good fit for Twitter, potentially bringing it a new way to monetize popular videos on the service, which can now be recorded natively in the Twitter app.

Niche co-founder Rob Fishman previously led social media for The Huffington Post and AOL. His former company, data analyzer Kingfish Labs, was acquired in 2012 by Buzzfeed. The other cofounder, Darren Lachtman, has led business development for New York-based Bedrocket Media Ventures.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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