Twitter buys online ad company

Twitter, which has made generating ad revenue one of its priorities, has acquired AdGrok, a company whose software is designed to simplify the creation and management of campaigns using Google's AdWords search advertising service.

As of Tuesday AdGrok has stopped accepting new customers. It will shut down its AdWords management business and wipe out its servers by June 30, focusing entirely on enhancing Twitter's online advertising technology.

"On June 30th, we will also unlink all customers from the AdGrok Google accounts and securely delete our databases. Performance data and campaign structures from AdGrok customers will not be shared with Twitter," the company wrote in a blog post.

Based in San Francisco, AdGrok was founded last year and was backed financially by early-stage investment company Y Combinator.

The AdGrok technology will likely find its way into Twitter's Promoted Tweets ad service, which is similar in concept to Google's AdWords. Promoted Tweets are Twitter posts crafted for advertising that appear in Twitter search results when they contain a search query keyword. Advertisers pay Twitter for Promoted Tweets when end users perform a specific action as a result of the post, such as clicking on it, re-tweeting it, replying to it or labeling it as a "favorite."

Twitter has made other acquisitions intended to boost its advertising technology, including the purchase last year of Smallthought Systems, maker of the Trendly cloud-hosted Web analytics application. Marketers make heavy use of analytics software to evaluate the efficacy of online advertising campaigns and make adjustments accordingly.

Having become the preferred microblogging vehicle for individuals, celebrities and businesses, Twitter in the past year has been trying to boost its revenue and create a self-sustaining business that is in proportion to the tool's popularity.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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