App Timehop Built an Ad Server to Save Itself and Become Profitable Again


The popular app that lets users posts memories via photos across a variety of apps switched from a 3rd-party ad server to its own in-house ad server.

When the 3rd-party ad server Timehop had been using went down for three days, costing the company three days of revenue, the company decided to build its own programmatic ad server.

timehop ad server
Image: Shutterstock


  • Timehop instructed some of its product engineers to begin building an ad server that focused on its own inventory, mobile-only.
  • In the 18 months since the change, the app’s CPM has grown from $2 to $28.
  • Timehop’s user base is about 80 percent in the U.S., 80 percent women and 80 percent millennial.
  • Timehop says they lost between 10 to 15 percent of their users after a redesign at the end of 2016, but that it’s also adding users each week.
  • They suffered a hack in July, impacting 21 million users.

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John is a writer with an interest in healthcare and SEO. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball and memes and spending time with his family.

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