Archive for the 'Twitter' Category

The Queen’s First Tweet Is A Royal Mystery

Friday 24 October 2014 @ 8:54 am
Screenshot 2014-10-24 12.48.43 Think about your first tweet. Mine was sent from a desktop, but I’m sure plenty of people sent their first tweet from a smartphone. But before you can ever send a tweet, you have to sign up for an account. And, of course, you have to type out an actual message. Only then can you press that little blue Tweet button and begin your Twitter journey. The Queen, however, does things a bit… Read More

Twitter to open learning center for low-income and homeless in San Francisco next summer

Thursday 23 October 2014 @ 6:15 pm
Twitter to open learning center for low-income and homeless in San Francisco next summer
Image Credit: Garrett Heath

Twitter, the microblogging giant whose headquarters sit on a section of San Francisco’s Market Street that’s not exactly fancy, is set to open a learning center for the homeless next summer.

The learning center, which the company announced in partnership with Compass Family Services last May, will be located across the street from Twitter, at Essex Fox Plaza, 1390 Market Street, and will open next summer, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report. The company is investing $1 million into it.

The Twitter NeighborNest will be a place where Twitter employees will be able to volunteer their time to help teach tech and career skills to the homeless. It will also be a place where children will have space to play and learn while their parents are getting valuable education and help.

Its partner, Compass Family Services, serves 3,500 homeless families in San Francisco and oversees an $8 million annual budget and seven programs. Twitter will host Compass’ holiday party on Dec. 18 as part of this partnership. Compass has traditionally held the party in a venue near Golden Gate Park. Since that location has been often too difficult of a commute for clients living in the Tenderloin, for example, the Twitter-hosted party will likely allow many of them to finally attend.

Twitter executives have been meeting with families, service providers, and other stakeholders over the last several months to discuss ideas about the center’s design.

The new center will also count toward Twitter’s community benefit agreement. As a way to keep companies in San Francisco, the city has allowed certain companies based in the Mid-Market neighborhood to avoid payroll taxes for six years in exchange for agreeing to contribute to the improvement of the neighborhoods around them.

Via The Chronicle 

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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 »

Why Twitter launched Fabric, in 5 devastating charts

Thursday 23 October 2014 @ 3:45 pm
Why Twitter launched Fabric, in 5 devastating charts
Image Credit: Illustration by VentureBeat / Eric Blattberg

Yesterday Twitter unveiled Fabric, a semi-integrated suite of tools for mobile app developers. The company somewhat grandiosely refers to it as a “modular mobile platform,” but while it’s definitely modular and certainly focused on mobile, it’s not a platform in any commonly understood sense of the term.

twitter flightUnless, of course, Twitter was referring to its own platform.

Because, while Fabric offers some significant goodies to developers, the real reason Twitter is launching this suite is first of all to boost its own core platform reach, and secondly to make more money via its mobile advertising subsidiary, MoPub.

Because make no mistake, when it comes to the incredibly lucrative mobile app user acquisition market that Facebook dominates — with a few key exceptions — Twitter has almost completely failed on the promises it made when unveiling mobile app promotion capabilities in Twitter Cards. And that’s no doubt had serious implications for Twitter’s revenue which, while showing growth and pockets of strength, caused the company’s shares to dip recently.

The goodies that Twitter is offering

  • Crash analytics (available from multiple other vendors)
  • A “Twitter kit”
    1. native tweet embedding (good for Twitter)
    2. native tweet composing (also good for Twitter)
    3. Twitter sign-in (good for Twitter; social sign-in is widely available from the usual suspects)
  • MoPub mobile advertising engine (good for Twitter; there are many, many monetization options for mobile publishers)
  • Digits, an identity system based on phone numbers (good for Twitter, as it’s built on Twitter infrastructure and therefore associates potentially hundreds of millions of people with Twitter; not easily available elsewhere)

This peace offering to developers, who Twitter has alienated in the recent past, was so necessary because Twitter is failing so badly.

Here’s the situation — based on data from our VB Insight Mobile User Acquisition and Mobile Game Monetization reports:

1) Facebook kills Twitter in mobile monetization.


This chart show which social solutions mobile developers think are most effective at helping them monetize their apps. That big blue chunk is Facebook, and the so-much-smaller brown slice is Twitter.


But it gets worse …

2) Big developers avoid Twitter.


When you look at the kinds of developers and publishers who use Facebook to help monetize their mobile apps, there’s a wide range from small to mid-range to very, very high-volume. The kinds of developers who use Twitter/MoPub, in contrast, are almost all small developers, with fewer large publishers than YouTube — at half the volume.

3) Big developers don’t acquire users via Twitter.

When you segment mobile publishers by size and then identify their preferred user acquisition companies, it not only becomes clear that Facebook, Google, AdColony, YouTube, and NativeX have more volume than Twitter, but also that the bigger and more successful a publisher you are, the less likely you are to use Twitter.


4) Twitter doesn’t monetize well.


When mobile developers force-ranked the top monetization companies for their mobile apps in our Mobile User Acquisition study, Twitter doesn’t come out well. Google is the king — although, not without warts — followed by Chartboost, AdColony, Flurry, Upsight (Playhaven/Kontagent), NativeX, Tapjoy, Vungle, Apple’s iAd, “Other,” and SponsorPay.

In other words, kind of an also-ran.

5) Four percent of mobile developers think Twitter is best.


Just 4 percent of the mobile developers we surveyed said that MoPub was the best partner in monetizing their mobile apps. Many more said Google or Chartboost or AdColony, plus a litany of other mobile user acquisition and monetization companies.

The goodies, however, are very good.

While Twitter’s new offerings are certainly centered on promoting Twitter’s platform, Twitter’s reach, and Twitter’s monetization capabilities, they do include some very neat goodies for mobile developers and publishers.

Crash analytics is a good thing to have. Native Twitter functionality can be a good thing for certain kinds of apps. And another monetization possibility is not a bad thing, and could work very well for certain kinds of apps.

But the big kahuna here is Digits, which will simultaneously allow almost frictionless accounts to users, and the ability to know formerly anonymous apps users — and then be able to engage and monetize them more effectively — for developers. Both are valuable, and both are a reason for developers to at least consider the new offerings.

Time will tell if they also improve Twitter’s standing in the mobile user acquisition and mobile monetization hierarchy.

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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 »

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Chartboost is the largest revenue platform powering the business of mobile games. Chartboost empowers developers to find new players and monetize their games, by providing them with the tools and analytics to make smarter decisions. Th... read more »

AdColony is a mobile video advertising company whose proprietary Instant-Play™ technology serves razor sharp, full-screen video ads instantly in HD across its network of iOS and Android apps, eliminating the biggest pain points in mo... read more »

Ampush’s future of mobile ads: whopping growth of 233 percent year-over-year

Tuesday 21 October 2014 @ 3:45 pm
Ampush’s future of mobile ads: whopping growth of 233 percent year-over-year

Above: Ampush CEO Jesse Pujji

Image Credit: Ampush

To Ampush chief Jesse Pujji, the future of mobile advertising comes down to native ads running on Facebook and Twitter.

Pujji’s company runs ad campaigns for big brands like MasterCard with his two biggest ad partners, Facebook and Twitter. Ampush will release a report early tomorrow that contains eye-opening data for brands and advertisers looking to maximize mobile ad campaigns with the two giants. The report provides a partial glimpse of what mobile advertising could soon look like.

“The majority of ad inventory in a few years will come down to the big platforms like Twitter and Facebook,” Ampush told VentureBeat.

While not a shocker, at least in the subjective sense of the word, Pujji will release data accrued by Ampush during 2013 up to the third quarter of 2014 from Twitter and Facebook mobile campaigns run during that timeframe.

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This includes Ampush customers in the gaming, e-commerce, travel, and entertainment sectors. Ampush clients spent $200 million on campaigns during this timeframe, of which Ampush takes a cut.

Some of the highlights from the Ampush report, which will be released on its website tomorrow morning, include:

  • Ad spend for the 13-17 age group grew the fastest it ever has over the duration of 2014. Pujji says this kernel of data debunks analyst claims that this age demographic is not effectively being served by Facebook
  • Mobile growth spending will increase by a whopping 233 percent year-over-year.
  • Cost per thousand and cost per click in mobile pricing trends will increase 23 and 53 percent respectively year-over-year.
  • The mobile app index, or cost-per-install, will increase 20 percent year-over-year.
  • Twitter is still maturing, but is showing serious, opportunistic growth in targeting smaller audiences engaged in the travel and lifestyle verticals.
  • More advertisers allocated portions of their important user acquisition budgets outside the U.S. and into international markets for mobile campaigns.

Ampush finds itself ensconced inside a burgeoning mobile landscape that analysts expect will be worth around $35 billion by year’s end. That number is up from the $18 billion spent on mobile last year. As expected, Google occupies the No. 1 spot in terms of mobile ad revenue followed by Facebook and Twitter.

The crafty Pujji also pointed out to VentureBeat that email-based mobile marketing, like Google Partner Connect and Facebook’s Custom Audience, for example, are leading the way in targeted mobile ad campaigns and that the technology continues to evolve to allow businesses to better target specific users with ads they may want to see.

“It’s a whole new way for advertisers to target customers,” Pujji said.

You can see an earlier interview I did with Pujji here.

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Ampush is an advertising technology company that helps brands and direct response advertisers achieve measurable business results on mobile-first native platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Our AMP 2.0 marketing software takes the c... read more »

AdStage now lets you buy and manage Twitter ads

Tuesday 21 October 2014 @ 5:00 am
AdStage now lets you buy and manage Twitter ads
Image Credit: Shawn Campbell

Cross-network advertising platform AdStage today has added the ability to purchase ads on Twitter.

AdStage offers marketers and businesses a centralized platform for buying adds across many different ad networks, including Google, Bing, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Clients can also adjust campaigns from AdStage’s platform for the best results as well as view a set of analytics to track progress. It’s new integration with Twitter makes it the only platform currently available that offers the ability to buy and manage ad campaigns from all the major social networks, according to cofounder and CEO Sahil Jain.

Creating a Twitter ad campaign through AdStage's platform.

Above: Creating a Twitter ad campaign through AdStage’s platform.

Image Credit: AdStage

AdStage is a bit different from other platforms that offer similar cross-network advertising services. Clients pay a monthly fee (starting at $99) for access, and don’t have a minimum amount of money they need to spend. Other cross-network platforms typically either put a minimum amount for a campaign, or charge a fee on top of the ad campaigns from each network. The startup has about 200 active companies using its beta ad campaign platform every month.

“Our [business model] means we’re able to serve smaller businesses that don’t have a huge budget to spend like the large companies,” Jain said in an interview with VentureBeat. He added that AdStage is interested in grabbing the companies that only spend $5,000 or so per month all the way up to the big spenders. The idea is that AdStage will let you experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, while remaining a self-serve ad campaign tool.

In addition to the Twitter ad integration, AdStage is also updating its platform for use by ad agencies and those with larger budgets that run many more ad campaigns than smaller clients. The startup is also announcing that it has hired a new executive from rival ad tech company Kenshoo, Paul Wicker, who will take over as AdStage’s new director of product.

Founded in 2013, the San Francisco-based AdStage has raised a total of $8.8 million in funding to date from Freestyle Capital, Digital Garage, Verizon Ventures, and others.

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AdStage is a self-serve cross-network online advertising platform with full management and analytics across search, display, social and mobile ad networks like Google, Bing, Facebook & LinkedIn. The all-in-one marketing platform, compl... read more »

Who To Follow On Twitter, According To Marc Andreessen

Sunday 19 October 2014 @ 9:52 pm
andreessen-marc_topic - NOT FOR FEATURED IMAGE Well-known Tweetstormer and investor Marc Andreessen has produced a list of his favorite people to follow on Twitter. He was prompted to do so by an article in The Information called “Silicon Valley’s Frontman Problem” by Jessica Lessin, who questioned if the industry leaders most often quoted by the media (she cited Andreessen, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel) really… Read More

Twitter to roll out its Buy button to general public in early 2015

Friday 17 October 2014 @ 7:52 am
Twitter to roll out its Buy button to general public in early 2015

Above: Twitter's mobile "Buy" button

Image Credit: Twitter

Twitter is aiming to launch its new Buy button to all organizations some time in the first quarter of 2015, VentureBeat has learned.

The Buy button officially debuted last month with Twitter testing its functionality with only a handful of businesses, celebrities, and non-profit organizations. The button, available for those browsing from a mobile device, lets you make a purchase or donation directly from a tweeted message.

The company previously said it will gradually be adding more organizations to test the Buy button, but thus far it hasn’t announced when it will launch this new feature to everyone. Sources, however, tell VentureBeat that Twitter is planning to roll out the Buy button within the first three months of 2015.

The Buy button has the potential to transform Twitter into a serious mobile shopping player, if early successful attempts by startups like Moontoast are any indication. Not only can sellers quickly advertise a limited supply of exclusive products, now they’ll also be able to sell them much faster than featuring them on a standalone web store. The same could be said about fundraising for charities.

VentureBeat is following up with Twitter for confirmation about the Buy button’s launch date and will update this post with any new information.

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Twitter’s Music Card Now Plays In Its Mobile Apps And Supports iTunes Previews

Thursday 16 October 2014 @ 10:09 pm
twitter Twitter hit a bum note with its Twitter Music service, but everyone’s favorite 140-character social network is keen as ever to light up users’ timelines with the sound of music after it launched a spiffy new update to its music card. The company already has a card that lets you play tracks in-tweet when you post a link to Soundcloud, but it now supports mobile play — via… Read More

Twitter will soon start to show you tweets from folks you don’t follow

Thursday 16 October 2014 @ 4:48 pm

Twitter has decided to take your timeline into its own hands and show you tweets from accounts you don’t follow.

The social media giant, which has long been experimenting with our timelines by inserting promoted tweets and other suggestions into them, said in a blog post that it will soon be throwing in tweets from strangers.

Trevor O’Brien, of Twitter’s product team, writes:

One of our goals for experimentation is to continue improving your home timeline. After all, that’s the best way to keep up with everything happening in your world. Choosing who to follow is a great first step — in many cases, the best Tweets come from people you already know, or know of. But there are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy. To help you keep up with what’s happening, we’ve been testing ways to include these Tweets in your timeline — ones we think you’ll find interesting or entertaining.

For example, we recently ran experiments that showed different types of content in your timeline: recommended Tweets, accounts and topics. Testing indicated that most people enjoy seeing Tweets from accounts they may not follow, based on signals such as activity from accounts you do follow, the popularity of the Tweets, and how people in your network interact with them. These experiments now inform the timeline you see today. (See our help center to learn more about what’s in your timeline.)

Some timeline experiments never make it to 100% of users. The ones that do aim to make the experience more interesting and relevant. As the timeline evolves, we will continue to show you Tweets you care about when they matter most.

But to be honest, this isn’t really all that shocking. Twitter has been messing with our timelines in the name of “helping us discover tweets or accounts” for a while, and back in August, one user spotted this new experiment when it was still supposed to be hush hush. It also introduced the “mute” button back in May to better tailor timelines, though users soon found out they couldn’t mute promoted content, sadly.

Speaking of promoted content, Twitter has also been tweaking our timelines by adding paid content such as promoted tweets and accounts, as well as content we might want to purchase from such as via the #AmazonCart hashtag or Twitter’s upcoming “Buy” button.

The idea of showing you tweets from accounts your network follows seems to be purely about increasing your engagement with the service. As the company itself said, while you can be pretty good at following the accounts you want to follow, you’re also likely to miss out on some that you’d benefit from following.

And obviously there are financial incentives for Twitter to want you to interact more with its service. It could, for example, leverage this free “promotion” to entice people or brands to shell out money to boost their reach — “look, so many more folks out there like your stuff, you should really consider spending some money with us!”

Higher engagement numbers could also mean more ad dollars.

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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 »

ISIS Tactics Illustrate Social Media’s New Place In Modern War

Wednesday 15 October 2014 @ 9:30 am
twitter-isis Bahjat Majid, 33, sat anxiously in his family’s refugee camp in Ainkawa, Iraq, in late September. In just days, he said, he would leave them and return to the front line as a Kurdish peshmerga soldier to fight the self-declared Islamic State. During his last battle, in Aiyrash Village near Qaraqosh, Majid endured heavy fire from snipers and mortars, the combat continuing day and night… Read More

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