Twitter buys analytics company

Smallthought Systems created Trendly, a cloud-hosted web analytics application

Twitter, which recently announced its Promoted Tweets advertising program, has acquired the maker of a cloud-hosted Web analytics application, Twitter said Thursday.

Smallthought Systems' Trendly lets Web site owners dig deeper into the usage and traffic data that Google Analytics collects about their sites.

The Smallthought staff has become part of Twitter's analytics team, where they will integrate Trendly features and technology into Twitter's existing systems, as well as help develop new products.

In April, Twitter launched with a limited number of partners like Starbucks and Best Buy the Promoted Tweets program, which is designed to let companies market their products and services on the popular microblogging and social-networking site.

As with all advertising services, a key to the success of Promoted Tweets will be Twitter's capacity to analyze the popularity and effectiveness of these ads so that campaigns can be evaluated and optimized.

The analytics for Promoted Tweets may be more challenging than for other online advertising programs for a few reasons, including the fact that the ad format for Promoted Tweets will be the same as the format for regular "tweets" and that Twitter's usage is going through the roof, with 2 billion "tweets" posted in May, according to Web monitoring company Pingdom.

"Every day millions of people use Twitter to create, share and discover information, and as we grow, analytics becomes an increasingly crucial part of improving our service," reads Twitter's announcement of its Smallthought acquisition.

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