Archive for the 'Twitter' Category



Twitter Acquires Image Search Startup Madbits

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 9:22 pm
twitter_topic - NOT FOR FEATURED IMAGE Twitter has acquired image search startup Madbits for an undisclosed amount. The purchase makes sense because the social networking site has been focused on building out its image features. Read More



As of Tuesday, Twitter is a mobile first player. No, really!

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 6:50 pm
As of Tuesday, Twitter is a mobile first player. No, really!

Above: Twitter signage dominates the NYSE.

Image Credit: Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Twitter is now a mobile first player.

No. Really.

At least when it comes to Twitter’s vigorous earnings statements for the second quarter, released Tuesday. Q2 shows the San Francisco microblogging specialists pulled in $312 million in revenue, up from $139 million a year ago. And here’s the kicker: 81 percent of that haul derived from Twitter’s mobile ad offerings.

Twitter’s mobile base climbed too, to 211 million, a 29 percent year-over-year increase. Without question, these numbers were bolstered by Twitter’s show in the World Cup in Brazil, where millions of mobile Tweeters blasted play-by-plays of their favorite teams to their country brethren scattered over the globe. Twitter acknowledged as much.

To be sure, Google and Facebook dominate the mobile ad arena, accounting for nearly two thirds of a pie that totaled over $17 billion in 2013 and is projected to crest $34 billion by years end, according to analysts who monitor the mobile space. Twitter has long followed in their footsteps, and Tuesday’s numbers point to this, but they’re catching up. Slowly.

Twitter knows this. Which is why it’s been on something of a mobile analytics buying binge, purchasing 12 companies since the outset of 2013, for over $1 billion collectively.

Purchases include, among others, advertising play Trendrr, mobile advertising stalwart MoPub, mobile ad player Namo Media, and — and perhaps the best of the lot — TapCommerce, a mobile retargeting ad heavyweight.

That 81 percent of revenue that came from mobile was also helped by Twitter unveiling a new suite of developer tools, which are crucial for mobile app developers looking to drive installs. It was not clear Tuesday what the breakdown was for Twitter’s mobile ad revenues in terms of mobile app installs versus other mobile ad revenue.

Also: While Twitter has been on an acquisition binge, it still relies on outside analytics to drive accurate ad and app campaigns. Facebook, for its part, also relies on relationships with outside analytics companies, but has increasingly been building up its own in-house capabilities while, like Twitter, buying others.

In the end, Twitter has lots to do before it swoops firmly behind Google and Twitter in mobile ad intake.

“I’m not sure they’ve been as effective as they might,” said Gartner analyst Andrew Frank.

But that is changing. Just slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Twitter’s mobile acquisition strategy pays off

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 4:28 pm
Twitter’s mobile acquisition strategy pays off
Image Credit: Mark

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Twitter is holding true to the Valley idea that buying more companies will make you stronger.

Since the beginning of 2013, San Francisco-based Twitter has bought 13 companies, some of them big names and some with a decent footprint in mobile advertising: TapCommerce, Gnip, and MoPub, for starters. Twitter acquired these companies to extend, and solidify, its mobile footprint.

Now Twitter’s catch-up game in mobile may be coming to fruition, even though Google and Facebook account for nearly two thirds of the global ad spend in that market. Twitter, for its part, is third in the rankings.

Today, Twitter released its Q2 numbers. And the results were decent. Revenue was $312 million, a 124 percent year-over-year increase. $277 million derived from ad sales.

And of that number, 81 percent came from Twitter’s mobile ad offerings, a number surely to make shareholders, and Wall Street, smile comfortably. At least for now.


See: Mobile User Acquisition:
How the most successful developers get better users for less money


Twitter’s mobile monthly users hit the 211 million mark, a 29 percent increase over the previous year.

Despite these acquisitions, questions abound, especially when it comes to Twitter’s capability to gather detailed data on users through its analytics offerings. This is the exactly kind of data coveted by advertisers — and Twitter.

Twitter’s acquisitions of Bluefin Labs, MoPub, Namo Media, and TapCommerce (a startup focusing on mobile app installs) are attempts to bridge the gap.

“Twitter isn’t Facebook. And I’m not sure they’ve been as effective as they might. They need to collect more information on users in order to better target their users with retargeted ads,” said Gartner analyst Andrew Frank.

Despite the good numbers, “Twitter is playing catchup,” said Frank, who covers the microblogging site closely.

By comparison, Facebook has purchased 14 companies in the same timeframe as Twitter, and it has seen its mobile ad revenue skyrocket.

To be fair, along with everybody else, both Facebook and Twitter have declared themselves “mobile first” players. It has become a Valley catchphrase to be judged by.

For Twitter to succeed, it’s going to take a bit more than acquisitions.

A mobile executive from a company that works closely with Twitter said the microblog specialists care deeply about the mobile ad experience but that it has yet to find a workable method for keeping users engaged and clicking on ads.

In other words, Twitter still needs to make money off its users, and in the process, keep the Wall Street naysayers relegated to the sidelines.

“They have worked very hard to not cannibalize users, but instead make advertising more of a dialogue. But they have moved slowly in mobile because they are trying new things. One of the things they’ve pushed on is showing the real value of the ads to advertisers using analytic tools,” this executive told VentureBeat.

“Buying TapCommerce is one way of doing this. But they’re trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. So the question becomes, ‘How can Twitter re-engage users who have already downloaded an app?’ And how can Twitter be this central player in mobile advertising?”

According to this executive and analysts who study the company, that means Twitter’s next step needs to be getting even smarter about analytics. That could mean even more acquisitions: Specifically, of analytics companies that can help drive ad spending and also, perhaps more crucially, get people who use Twitter to enjoy the mobile ad experience.

Or, Twitter could develop its own analytics tools in-house. Either way, it needs to use the data to create better and more effective ad experiences.

“With mobile ads, Twitter needs to connect and immerse the user in the ad experience. That will be key,” this executive said.


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Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Twitter’s future could depend on pushing video tweets to other sites

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 3:05 pm
Twitter’s future could depend on pushing video tweets to other sites
Image Credit: Illustration by VentureBeat / Eric Blattberg

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

The old metric that tracks the growth of Twitter’s logged-in user base might not be relevant for much longer. “Viewing audience” might become an important thing to watch in Twitter’s performance numbers.

That’s because Twitter is getting much better at, and much more focused on, extending sponsored content out to other websites, where people who don’t even have a Twitter account might see it.

Take Twitter’s Amplify service. It’s all about taking an advertiser’s video and embedding it in desktop and mobile sites, with a “follow” button and Twitter stats and buttons beneath the video. (See the image below.)

The NFL might sponsor a video tweet, and Twitter would post the video (like a key replay from a game with a comment) on Twitter and on partner sites at a specific time during a game. This is good for the advertiser, and it might pump up viewership of the game.

On mobile, this creates a “second screen” experience where the replay video is playing on a tablet or a phone in the living room while the game is playing on the TV.

Twitter AmplifyTwitter CEO Dick Costolo spoke repeatedly of off-site advertising in the company’s earnings call today. “Amplify allows us to partner with TV and other content creators and help them increase their audiences help drive tune-ins.”

Costolo says that people might see a key highlight video in a tweet and then get interested and turn on the TV to watch. That, he says, can increase viewership for the TV network, which in turn can increase the value of the ads around the shows.

It’s all about things taking place in real time, which is Twitter’s forte.

“Twitter has the unique ability to tie tweets and content to things people are talking about right now,” eMarketer analyst Debora Aho Williamson told VentureBeat. “That’s been a very valuable asset for Twitter.”

Advertisers like Facebook because of its larger reach, but the real-time nature of Twitter ads is something the microblogging site can do that its bigger rival can’t easily match, Williamson said.

And the off-Twitter video advertising is of great interest to marketers.

“I will be looking for the numbers of non-logged-in viewers Twitter has,” Shift CEO James Borow told me before Twitter earnings today. Shift is a social marketing software company, and a Twitter partner.

Borow is referring to the number of people who aren’t necessarily on Twitter but that see video tweets on other sites. “Everybody sees Facebook as Twitter’s main competitor, but we think Twitter is really becoming something more like YouTube,” Borow says.

Borow says his company and its big brand clients are most excited about Twitter’s capability to push branded video out to other partner sites, timed to key events.

And when you think about it, Twitter must do things like Amplify to keep growing and pleasing investors. As much media attention as Twitter gets, it’s still a niche site that’s only sees regular use from a relatively small number of people.

“Twitter is very useful for some people, but it doesn’t have the broad use case that Facebook has,” IDC analyst Scott Strawn tells VentureBeat.

“So Twitter has to find ways to move beyond that niche — to derive revenue from other forms of content like video.”


We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Twitter just doubled its revenues

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 12:28 pm
Twitter just doubled its revenues
Image Credit: Twitter

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Before Twitter announced earnings today, investors were still buzzing from Facebook’s stellar earnings report.

But the numbers Twitter announced today, especially the advertising revenue numbers, are likely to get investors feeling good about the micro blogging company once again.

Twitter reported earnings per share of two cents per share on revenues of $312 million, beating analysts expectations that it would lose one cent per share on revenues of $283 million.

That revenue number is an increase of 124% over the $139 million revenues from Twitter’s second quarter last year.

Twitter’s stock price shot up in after hours trading in response to the positive results.

The company reported a net loss of $145 million, but analysts, again, were expecting worse.

Adjusted profit margin came in at 17 percent.


We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Direct messaging on Twitter just got a little more private

Monday 21 July 2014 @ 5:15 am
Direct messaging on Twitter just got a little more private
Image Credit: Kooroshication / Flickr

Twitter is reworking its direct messaging platform so that users will be able to delete messages more consistently across web and mobile, the company said Friday.

Direct messages are private messages sent between two Twitter users, who follow each other.

The update will synchronize conversations between web and mobile interfaces. “We’re also making an update to the Twitter iPhone and Android apps that will allow you to access your entire DM history,” Twitter support said in a Tweet.

Because Twitter has a 140 character limit, it’s questionable whether its messaging function will take off the way more popular messengers like WhatsApp have.

Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion earlier this year, a slew of private messaging companies have emerged to get in on the craze. It’s clear that Twitter is trying to make its own messaging service a more prominent feature.

In April the company introduced pop-up notifications that alert you when someone is interacting with your tweets. This recent update is more about making users feel like they have control of their personal conversations within the app. Though it’s not exactly a full-fledged private messenger, it’s certainly a step in that direction.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Social shopping experiments continue on Facebook and Twitter. But why?

Sunday 20 July 2014 @ 8:15 am
Social shopping experiments continue on Facebook and Twitter. But why?
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Despite limited success so far, Facebook and Twitter are continuing their efforts to get you to buy stuff while you’re using their services.

According to reports late last week, Facebook is experimenting with adding a “Buy” button to status updates from selected brands. For instance, Sephora could post an update about a new color of eye shadow, and instead of making customers go to the Sephora.com website to complete the purchase, they could buy it simply by clicking the button right in the Facebook post — using a credit card kept on file with Facebook’s servers.

It’s not the first time Facebook has experimented with social shopping — nor is Facebook the only social network trying this.

Facebook Gifts was a short-lived attempt to let people buy actual, physical gifts and send them to friends within Facebook. It started in August, 2012 with the acquisition of gift-giving startup Karma, but Facebook shut down Gifts in August, 2013.

Similarly, Facebook Credits were an attempt to incorporate e-commerce into Facebook via a virtual currency. Facebook Credits were used mostly to purchase virtual goods within Facebook games, and for a time Facebook required all game developers on its platform to use Credits for in-game purchases. But after pushing them hard in 2010 and 2011, the company discontinued Facebook Credits in 2012.

Twitter, too, has been experimenting with in-stream purchases. The latest experiment, a partnership with Amazon.com, lets people add items to their Amazon shopping carts by tweeting with the hashtag #AmazonCart. That’s convenient, and a search for the hashtag #AmazonCart shows that some people are really using it. But the number using it must be minuscule compared to Amazon’s overall sales volume — and the hashtag hasn’t cracked the “trending” hashtags yet either. Sure, it’s an experiment. But it’s also likely to appeal only to a small number of purchasers, who don’t mind tweeting what it is they are thinking of buying.

These companies, it’s clear, would like social commerce to become a thing. But it’s not clear that customers really want this.

Are you making purchases on Facebook or Twitter? Let us know in the comments below!


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











Gillmor Gang: Yotifications

Saturday 19 July 2014 @ 9:00 am
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Danny Sullivan, Alexia Tsotsis, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor — react with nervous jokes as all eyes turn to the success of Yo, the single-minded communication app that has one thing on its little mind. But wait a minute, what’s surreally going on here as BetaWorks’ John Borthwick leads an investment round on the love child union of… Read More



Twitter buys mobile payment infrastructure CardSpring

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 1:10 pm
Twitter buys mobile payment infrastructure CardSpring

Late Wednesday night, Twitter announced it acquired mobile payment system CardSpring. Twitter’s advertising team says CardSpring will fit nicely into the company’s framework for recommending products and services, and for making purchases through tweets.

CardSpring is known for it Application Programming Interface (API) that lets developers make online applications for credit, credit, and other types of financial transactions — think loyalty cards. In 2012 the company landed $10 million in funding, lead by Accel Partners and Greylock Partners.

“At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform and work with our publisher, financial, and retail partners to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers,” says the company in a blog post.

Adding a mobile payments infrastructure to Twitter will help the company’s initial efforts to bring actual commerce to the app. Already Starbucks has developed a “tweet-a-coffee” function whereby connecting your Twitter and Starbucks accounts you can virtually tweet a cup of coffee to a friend and they will receive a $5 e-gift card. With a system for credit card entry, you may soon be able to tweet all sorts of products to your friends — and maybe even straight cash.

The acquisition falls in line with the general trend of “frictionless” payments on the web. Earlier today we noted that Facebook is flirting with a “buy-button,” so you won’t need to leave the site to make a purchase.

This is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Twitter that focus on mobile technologies. Most recently the company snapped up mobile ad tech firm TapCommerce for $100 million. Financial details of the deal with CardSpring were not disclosed.

 



Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »

CardSpring is a payments infrastructure company that enables developers to add applications to the payment network. The CardSpring web service API makes it easy for payment companies and point-of-sale vendors to work with developers to... read more »











Facebook may make its ads shoppable: Meet the ‘Buy’ button

Thursday 17 July 2014 @ 12:00 pm
Facebook may make its ads shoppable: Meet the ‘Buy’ button
Image Credit: Screen shot

Facebook is toying with the idea of becoming a meta-marketplace with a new “Buy” button for purchasing real, physical goods without ever leaving the site.

After experimenting with “Autofill” in the last several months, Facebook is now letting you use those credit cards you keep on file on Facebook to actually purchase stuff without even leaving the site or app, just by clicking a button, according to a TechCrunch report.

Autofill lets Facebook users keep their credit card info on file in their Facebook profiles, then easily populate checkout fields with one click when shopping from merchants with Autofill integration. The idea is to use your Facebook login as your one-click checkout.

“The idea is that if we have your card credentials on file, we can prepopulate your info ahead of a purchase,” said Facebook head of retail and e-commerce Nicolas Franchet during a small press roundtable in March.

“[Right now] you click on the add, you go to Sephora.com you then have to enter your info – eventually you’d want to not have to do that,” he said.

Autofill was created to solve that problem and now the new button is taking it one step further, taking even more steps and friction away. Franchet hinted back then that this is where Autofill was headed as removing as much friction as possible, along with great ad targeting, is every advertiser’s dream.

On the advertier and merchant side, the new button will likely mean higher conversion rates from their ads on Facebook. The idea of a one-click or equally quick shopping experience is something Twitter and Amazon, for example, have also been working on. The two companies recently teamed up to let Amazon customers shop with a simple tweet, and a “Buy Now” button surfaced on Twitter a couple weeks ago, as well.

This could potentially affect ad rates, making them more valuable, although the ability of these special ads converting to sales will also depend on how well targeted they are, something any advertising platform is always working on.

And while Facebook isn’t currently charging the few merchants it’s testing the new button with, it isn’t taking it off the table. Affiliate programs are an old and solid business program, so why wouldn’t Facebook roll that out.

Back in January, Facebook announced that it would be rolling out new advertising options, including a “Shop Now” button, which is likely the first iteration of the new button.


Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.53.56 AMOur upcoming GrowthBeat event — August 5-6 in San Francisco — is exploring the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the scoop here, and grab your tickets before they're gone!  


Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where cu... read more »

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest information about what you find interesting. Simply find the public streams you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter ar... read more »











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