Archive for the 'Twitter' Category

Twitter might be buying Justin Bieber’s selfie app, Shots, report says

Tuesday 25 November 2014 @ 2:40 pm
twitter ipo

We might be closer to solving the riddle of the DM fail heard around the Twittesphere yesterday.

Twitter is allegedly in talks to acquire the Justin Bieber-backed social app Shots, according to a report from CNBC. Shots’ main appeal to Twitter is its user base of more than 3 million users, with nearly two-thirds of them women under 24, according to CNBC’s source.

Yesterday, Twitter chief financial executive Anthony Noto sent a public tweet he appears to have meant to send privately about an unnamed startup Twitter should acquire.

Shots, lead by John Shahidi, is all about snapping selfies — photos of yourself. The app’s user growth has been quite fast, with Shots adding more than two million users since April when it had only one million.

A year ago, Justin Bieber invested $1.1 million into the app.

“We don’t comment on rumor and speculation,” a Twitter spokesperson told VentureBeat when reached for comment on the report.

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Vine now lets you favorite accounts and get notifications when they post new videos

Tuesday 25 November 2014 @ 8:14 am
vine messages

Twitter today updated its Vine app with the ability to favorite accounts. You can download the new version now directly from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

Favoriting other Vine users will result in a notification whenever they post a Vine. This includes both a push notification to your device as well as an update in your activity feed.


To favorite an account, navigate to their profile page and tap the star in the top-right corner. If you follow a large number of Vine users, this will ensure you don’t miss new videos from your favorite Viners.

The app’s changelog also says that users “may also notice some performance enhancements that make Vine, well… perform better.” Twitter didn’t share what exactly it changed or how much of a boost you can expect.

More to follow

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Gillmor Gang: Silent Noise

Saturday 15 November 2014 @ 10:12 am
Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Keith Teare, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, November 14, 2014. Topics include: Pono, Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, Twitter Investor Day, @scobleizer’s Top Two Tips to Improve Facebook, Notification News, Amazon Echo. Time passes slowly up here in the mountains when you’re lost in a dream. Read More

CrunchWeek: Obama On Net Neutrality, Microsoft Open Sources .NET, And Twitter Meets Wall Street

Friday 14 November 2014 @ 4:33 pm
Ryan Lawler On this week’s episode of CrunchWeek, I was joined by TechCrunch writer Alex Wilhelm and editor Ryan Lawler to talk about the biggest surprises in the tech scene. Read More

Retargeting is ‘where the puck is going’ in mobile advertising

Thursday 13 November 2014 @ 3:49 pm
Retargeting is ‘where the puck is going’ in mobile advertising

Above: Micah Gantman, TUNE; John Krystynak, AppLovin; Marc Hale, Twitter/TapCommerce Rob Wilk, Foursquare

SAN FRANCISCO — Mobile marketers are spending a lot more time these days thinking about retargeting mobile users with mobile ads. The goal is to get people who have already downloaded their app to come back and use it regularly.

Traditionally, mobile marketers (like app developers) have spent the majority of their ad spend on simply acquiring new customers to install their app. But that’s increasingly expensive.

The cost rose 34 percent from a year ago according to data collected by mobile-marketing firm Fiksu. The cost-per-loyal-user index increased 21 percent to $2.25 in September, from $1.86 in August.

So a growing portion of mobile marketers’ ad spend is going to retargeting existing customers by showing them relevant ads in other mobile apps or sites, like Facebook, for example.

AppLovin CTO John Krystynak said here at the Mobile First conference that if an advertiser spends $15 on customer acquisition advertising, they could hit existing customers with retargeted ads 30 or 40 times.

Marc Hale of TapCommerce (now owned by Twitter) says some of his company’s clients have now turned their ad strategies on their heads, spending 80 percent of their ad budget on mobile retargeting and 20 percent on new customer acquisition.

“Retargeting and re-engagement is probably the most exciting thing going on in mobile advertising today,” said Micah Gantman of Tune, an enterprise SaaS company for mobile marketers.

Hale said his company has been focusing on it because they “want to go where the puck is headed.”

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Several of the panelists here called out the gaming industry as being the first movers in retargeting gamers on mobile devices. “The majority of the money being spent on mobile retargeting is coming from the mobile gaming community,” Hale said.

“Gaming companies are ‘mobile first’ and they know the lifetime spend of their customers, and they can see the whole customer sales funnel. They have it right in front of them,” Krystynak said.

In the app world the “sales funnel” means all the steps the customer takes from learning about and downloading an app to making purchases within the app.

“They’re retargeting gamers to get them back to buy coins and Smurfberries in the app,” Krystynak said.

Gaming companies have learned some important lessons about how to re-engage users. “Mobile gaming companies often retarget people who have recently installed the game so that they can keep them coming back,” TapCommerce’s Hale said.

Many beer brands and lifestyle marketers use Foursquare to retarget customers, the company’s Rob Wilk said. That’s because users like to use the FourSquare mobile app to check in at a drinking establishments and talk about booze and other lifestyle products.

One source said here that retargeting is now the social check-in site’s biggest source of revenue.

Another thing the panelists agreed on is the importance of data. “We have 17 events that can be looped back to the marketer for optimization,” said Tune’s Gantman. Here, “events” are what the targeted customer experiences while moving toward a purchase, such as what types of retargeting ads customers clicked on, or how many times they completed a tutorial in an app.

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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 »

Our mobile marketing platform drives relevant ads to your audience, refines and improves their performance, and delivers measurable results that yield the highest return on your investment.... read more »

3 game-changing features Twitter is working on right now

Wednesday 12 November 2014 @ 11:58 am
3 game-changing features Twitter is working on right now
Image Credit: Garrett Heath

Twitter is getting some long-awaited updates.

The company’s VP of product, Kevin Weil, says native video shooting and editing, filters for surfacing relevant tweets, and updates to direct messaging are all in the pipeline. The announcement came in a blog post released today.

Earlier this year Twitter enabled users to natively embed GIFs and other videos. Now the company says it wants users to be able to record, edit, and post videos within its app. Twitter is most used during live events, so in-app video producing capabilities definitely capitalizes on that use case. Adding video functionality would also push Twitter to compete more directly with Instagram’s video editing and sharing tools.

Twitter says it’s also working on creating tools that will make surfing the Twitter stream less of a chore. So far the company says it’s experimenting with creating “snapshots” for users that highlight some of the biggest news on the service. Already, Twitter surfaces trending tweets, but it doesn’t go much beyond that in terms of helping users make more sense of the stream.

The company is also developing ready-made timelines for users who don’t want to spend time developing personalized lists. This could allow people to get into Twitter immediately based on the selection of a few key interests, which might help with the service’s sometimes daunting onboarding process.

Finally, Twitter promises to update its direct messaging system and provide a way for users to move public tweets to private messages seamlessly. One of Twitter’s projects is to enable users to share and discuss tweets publicly and privately via direct messages. We’ll know more about that looks like when the feature rolls out next week.

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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 »

Forget engagement: This holiday season, social media is all about getting people to buy

Sunday 9 November 2014 @ 12:08 pm


Forget engagement: This holiday season, social media is all about getting people to buy
Image Credit: Marco Paköeningrat

This holiday season, brace yourself for a new paradigm in social marketing — one that values sales over status updates and commerce over engagement.

Last holiday season, social marketers for major retail brands saw how many fans they could corral or how many likes they could amass. Those same marketers are now on a quest to deliver the strongest ROI for brands; not in “likes,” but in the form of social commerce success.

In November and December, during an estimated $650 billion holiday spending spree, Facebook and Twitter will both debut “buy” buttons that allow in-feed sales within the world’s two most prominent social networks. These new commerce tools will address retailers’ growing focus on driving sales through social media.

Given these recent commerce developments and the fact that Facebook will permanently abandon like-gating come November, our internal marketing team at Offerpop collected data from digital brand strategists to reveal trends and behaviors we’re likely to see this holiday season. Not surprisingly, over half (62 percent to be exact) of those surveyed, both domestically and internationally, will focus on growing sales and extending brand reach this holiday season.

We should expect to see marketers roll out robust advertising budgets, creative campaigns using features such as hashtags and referral programs, and focus on the social networks most effective at driving fan traffic to website stores. And don’t be surprised if said online store galleries boast user-generated content to fuel socially influenced purchases, such as this example from Canadian clothing company Hudson’s Bay.

Social media has already matured into a critical centerpiece of any retailer’s holiday strategy. With 1.28 billion monthly active users on Facebook and 255 million active monthly users on Twitter, the holiday consumer is now more dependent than ever on social media for information and incentives that will prompt ecommerce sales or in-store purchasing decisions. In fact, 72% of U.S. adults are active on Facebook at least once per month, giving digital marketers an opportunity to influence a majority of holiday shoppers on one platform alone. There is no doubting the potential for ROI here.

Retailers can’t be successful this holiday season without a sophisticated social media strategy. Our survey further found that 67 percent of marketers budgeted to spend more on social media this year than last. With increased investments, those marketers will turn to specific networks to accomplish ecommerce goals, and our survey results yielded surprising results in that department, too.

Despite the evolving landscape of social media, 92 percent of the marketers surveyed say they will allocate the majority of their social media holiday budgets to Facebook. With its frequency of use and slightly older demographic, Facebook remains the leader in accomplishing marketers’ ecommerce goals regardless of any “backlash” the network has recently experienced.

Instagram’s rapid growth has not gone unnoticed by marketers. Retailers are bullish on the photo-sharing platform, with 73 percent identifying it as the breakout social network of 2014. Instagram’s marketing roadblocks such as a lack of hyperlinks and a generally young user base make it a secondary option to Facebook and Twitter during the holidays, but brands are intrigued by the highly visual platform’s potential to add depth and reach to holiday campaigns.

However, our findings revealed that marketers are sitting on the sidelines of emerging networks like Snapchat and Swarm that lack a proven ROI for brands. 48 percent of marketers do not plan on investing in any emerging social networks this holiday season.

The survey data shows that social marketing is maturing rapidly, with a new focus on driving commerce and increasing investment in proven revenue channels like Facebook. This holiday season, we’ll see marketers testing Facebook and Twitter’s new commerce capabilities, while leveraging Instagram for holiday campaigns. Retailers simply cannot be successful during this critical sales time if they do not invest in targeted and effective social media programs.

Mairead Ridge is Senior Manager of Marketing at Offerpop in New York City, where she leads the creative and community team. The company offers a digital-marketing platform for businesses that can curate user-generated photos and video, engage with consumers via social media and connect with users on social platforms for ecommerce sales.

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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 »

Twitter Will Open Hong Kong Office To Target Advertisers

Thursday 6 November 2014 @ 9:43 pm
twitter-analytics In Asia, Twitter is up against rivals like Sina Weibo and the ubiquity of messaging apps like Line, WhatsApp, and WeChat. But the region is still an important one for the microblogging platform, a point it underscored today by announcing plans to establish an office in Hong Kong. Twitter’s vice president for Asia Pacific, the Americas, and emerging markets, Shailesh Rao, told WSJ that… Read More

Former Twitter exec Ali Rowghani joins Y Combinator as a part-time partner

Thursday 6 November 2014 @ 4:02 pm
Former Twitter exec Ali Rowghani joins Y Combinator as a part-time partner

Above: Twitter co-founder Ev Williams (left) and former COO Ali Rowghani

Image Credit: Joi Ito/Flickr

Ali Rowghani, once Twitter’s chief operations officer, is joining startup accelerator Y Combinator as a part-time partner, the accelerator announced today.

Rowghani, who’s also been Pixar’s chief financial officer, will be mostly working with alumni companies that are now dealing with the challenges related to growth. Y Combinator president Sam Altman writes in a blog post:

Though we’ve traditionally focused on helping very early-stage companies, our successful companies have asked for help on topics like scaling operations, managing hypergrowth, building out management teams, etc.

Ali is a perfect fit for helping YC companies with these scaling questions. Ali was the CFO at Pixar, where he spent 9 years working closely with Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs. In 2010, he joined Twitter as its first CFO, at a time when Twitter had about 100 employees, 20 million users, and virtually no revenue. In late 2012, he became Twitter’s COO and took on many additional responsibilities within the company.

Rowghani left Twitter this past June, stepping down as chief operating officer but remaining as a strategic advisor. His resignation was rumored shortly before the announcement, and he was allegedly taking the heat for several issues, including the company’s lack of significant growth and innovation, and his sale of 300,000 shares of Twitter stock. Then newly hired product vice president Daniel Graf was also told to report directly to chief executive Dick Costolo instead of Rowghani, signaling tensions in the management structure at the time.

Rowghani will be joining Y Combinator’s other part-time partners Adora Cheung, Patrick Collison, Elizabeth Iorns, Andrew Mason, Yuri Sagalov, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel, and Harj Taggar.

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Y Combinator is a venture fund which focuses on seed investments to startup companies. It offers financing as well as business consulting along with other opportunities to 2-4 person companies looking to take an idea to a product. Y Co... read more »

Twitter revenue chief explains why “soggy fries” may be key to its big data future

Wednesday 5 November 2014 @ 3:20 am
Twitter revenue chief explains why “soggy fries” may be key to its big data future

Above: Twitter's Adam Bain discusses the company's revenue challenges at the Web Summit in Dublin.

Image Credit: Chris O'Brien

As Twitter’s president of global revenue, Adam Bain is the guy who has to deal with the persistent questions about the company’s business model. Or, the lack of one, according to critics.

It’s something he’s heard since he joined the company four years ago after leaving his role as chief technology officer for Fox Interactive. And it’s something he continues to hear now amid worries that Twitter’s user growth is slowing.

But in a conversation on stage today at the Web Summit in Dublin, Bain expressed enthusiasm for the growth prospects for each of its three lines of revenue: advertising, data, and commerce.

While advertising gets the most public attention, Bain seemed particularly excited about Twitter’s ability to grow the revenue it gets from licensing the data generated by the 500 million tweets people generate every day. He noted that revenue from data licensing grew 171 percent year-over-year.

And he pointed to Twitter’s recent partnership with IBM in which an army of consultants will now be tasked to help businesses around the world figure out how data from tweets can be used to enhance their operations.

To illustrate this point, Bain told a story about being contacted by a company that makes industrial fryers, the big contraptions that restaurants use to cook french fries. The company said it wanted to license Twitter’s data, and Bain couldn’t imagine why. The company (which he declined to name) explained that when the fryers malfunction, or need repair, the fries they cook turn out soggy.

So, the company wanted to monitor Twitter for anyone tweeting about “soggy fries” so it could then contact the restaurant and sell new equipment or services.

“We think there’s a massive set of insights for businesses in the data,” Bain said. “What’s unique about this corpus of data is that we think it’s the largest set of public conversations out there. And there’s lots of businesses using this in interesting ways.”

On the commerce side, he said the new tweet-to-buy button is still in a kind of incubation period as Twitter works with a limited number of partners.

“It’s early days,” he said. “We’re experimenting with different price points and different products. And more importantly, we’re trying to understand what emotions you need to generate to get people to buy right now, in the moment. What we do in the monetization business is monetize emotions.”

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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 »

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