tirsdag 13. april 2010

Twitter apps Echofon, 140Proof: We’re going to monetize our own way

Two Twitter-related startups say they’re not fazed by the company’s recent moves of launching an ad network and acquiring competing startups. In fact, the two companies you would imagine that would be most devastated by Twitter’s recent decisions are teaming up.
140Proof, an ad network that serves sponsored tweets in user’s streams, and Echofon, which builds clients for reading tweets on the iPhone and in Firefox, are partnering on monetization. Echofon will serve 140Proof ads in the free version of its software if customers want to avoid the normal $20 cost of the app.
The partnership flies in the face of Twitter’s recent moves. The microblogging network effectively lit a fire beneath its developer ecosystem this week after it purchased the maker of Tweetie, a popular iPhone app, and finally launched its long-awaited advertising network. Buying a popular developer outright could put other competing iPhone apps out of business while the new advertising network could crowd out other companies looking to cash in on Twitter’s network.
140Proof founder John Manoogian said he’s not worried about Twitter’s new ad system, which places sponsored tweets atop search results.
“We love it,” he said. It’s “huge validation and legitimization of the platform for brands.”
Manoogian said there’s lots of room for a variety of advertising providers in Twitter’s ecosystem. Indeed, Twitter chief operating officer Dick Costolo said earlier today that the company wouldn’t ban other companies from serving ads on third-party Twitter apps. However, if third-party ad providers started harming the overall user experience, he warned that the company might crack down.
While Twitter’s ad network is only in beta on search results right now, Manoogian said 140 Proof is already available on multiple mobile platforms and browsers, adding that the company is serving 25 ad impressions a second.
He said that while Twitter’s ad network is focused on large brand advertisers, 140 Proof caters to the “long tail” of advertisers and 70,000 Twitter developers. He said the company added 800 new advertisers last quarter.
140 Proof also analyzes a Twitter user’s persona based on their public tweets and who they follow. They then target based on that data — so if I tweet about coffee quite a bit, I should receive more ads about coffee shops and brands.
While the company has a search application programming interface, it primarily focuses on serving ads in the stream, which can drive further search traffic about a brand. It’s also a move Twitter says it will ultimately make.
“We see search and the stream as symbiotic for advertisers, depending on where they are in the customer engagement cycle,” he said.
These advantages are all well and good. But if Twitter’s trial turns out successfully and it starts building a self-serve system, 140 Proof will need to keep innovating to stay ahead of the curve.
Tags: monetization, online advertising, Twitter
Companies: 140Proof, Echofon

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