Twitter acquiring text-messaging firm Cloudhopper

Twitter Inc. said Friday it was buying a start-up to help it send an increasingly huge number of text messages around the world.

The social networking service is acquiring Seattle-based Cloudhopper, which manages computer systems that allow companies to send billions of text messages around the world, for an undisclosed amount.

Twitter says it has become one of the world’s largest originators of so-called SMS messages, creating and sending more than 1 billion text messages every month.

“Twitter was inspired by SMS and we continue to embrace this simple but ubiquitous technology,” wrote Kevin Thau, who manages mobile partnerships at Twitter, in a blog post.

Twitter began in 2006, largely to take advantage of the rise of SMS, or short message service — which allowed mobile phone users to send one another short messages of about 140 characters.

But amid rapid growth, Twitter has had problems with site outages and lackluster performance — often because it grew too fast for its underlying technology to handle so much traffic.

Twitter is hoping to ensure that with the Cloudhopper acquisition, its text-messaging ability can handle the weight put on it by tens of millions of new users scattered around the world.

“Cloudhopper will continue to work with us as we invest further in connecting with more carriers and making SMS tweets increasingly useful and innovative,” wrote Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner in an e-mail message.