What happened

Shares of Glu Mobile Inc. (GLUU) were up 10.9% as of 12:30 p.m. EDT Thursday after an analyst upgraded shares of the free-to-play mobile games company.

More specifically, Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey upgraded Glu Mobile from "hold" to "buy," setting a $6-per-share price target on the stock -- that's a whopping 58% premium from yesterday's close.

Young people holding smartphones


So what

The timing of the bullish call is no coincidence; On Wednesday, Glu Mobile offered investors their first look at The Swift Life, a new social app it's launching in partnership with pop star Taylor Swift.

"We've worked closely with Taylor and her team to bring her creative vision to life," stated Glu Mobile CEO Nick Earl. "The result is a deeply social environment where Taylor and her fans are able to better connect with one another while expressing themselves in an interactive community."

And Hickey, for his part, noted his firm is "cautiously optimistic" for the prospects of The Swift Life, especially considering Swift's "several hundred million social followers across social media networks." 

Now what

Glu Mobile stated yesterday that The Swift Life will first be released in beta for limited territories "soon," followed by a worldwide launch later this year. So investors still have some time yet before we can accurately gauge its success.

But today's upgrade is understandable when you combine Taylor Swift's (arguably) unrivaled social media reach with the fact that Glu Mobile has "worked closely" to ensure the app lives up to her expectations. As such, even with shares having doubled already so far in 2017, it's no surprise to see Glu Mobile stock popping today.