The escalating battle among social media platforms to harness eCommerce for their own purposes continued with Twitter’s purchase of TellApart.
According to a securities filing made public on Wednesday, Twitter agreed to pay $532.6 million in stock for the digital platform, which has specific strengths in retail and commerce verticals.
“By bringing Twitter and TellApart together, we’ll be able to help performance advertisers reach users wherever they are, whether on desktop or mobile,” according to a recent post on Twitter’s blog.
Kevin Weil, Twitter’s senior vice president of product, elaborated in the blog post:
TellApart brings deep expertise in performance advertising, driving cost-effective return on investment through dynamic product ads and email marketing. With continued investment and expansion through our global sales teams, we believe we can extend TellApart’s services internationally and to industries beyond retail.
TellApart offers unique capabilities for cross sell and promotional engagement retargeting around retail which is an area that Twitter’s current retargeting solution has no real programmatic or template capabilities.
It seems pretty clear that Twitter is purchasing its way into the retail space, as TellApart already has a number of marquee retail clients. Twitter wants retail to take them as seriously as they do Google and Facebook.
The purchase may also help increase retail adoption of Twitter’s retargeting tools but given Twitter’s stalling MAU (monthly active users) and limited reach, the Twitter + TellApart combination feels like a lot of sizzle without a real reason to take the new combination seriously.
Unless something dramatic comes out of the acquisition like an extensive publisher build out (both app and web) or the ability to leverage more interesting first or third party data to increase ad targeting and purchase intent capture, Twitter should remain a second tier priority for retailers behind Facebook and Google.
Nii A. Ahene is Co-Founder and COO of CPC Strategy, a retail search specialist agency based in San Diego. A certified Google Analytics Professional, Nii is a former eBay employee who won its innovation software development competition, and currently has a patent pending method of using topical/trending data to improve search results (application# 20090259620).