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September 4, 2014

Twitter Acquires Image, Commerce, and Security Startups this Summer

The social media giant Twitter has been turning heads with a series of key acquisitions, which have included Card Spring, Madbits and Mitro. Online marketers and app developers should be paying attention to these company purchases, because they may usher in major developmental changes for Twitter.

These changes promise to affect the way you interact with audiences, and the API features you’ll encounter for mobile use. The acquisitions point to rapid expansions for retailers to improve social media conversion rates, new ways to store and display images and secure accounts.

Here’s the scoop on each of these moves and what they could mean for Twitter in the future.

CardSpring

This acquisition is exciting news for retailers. CardSpring bridges online and offline purchases, so buyers can take advantage of digital promotions when they walk into your brick-and-mortar store.

Retailers have the ability to create their own coupon apps that use CardSpring technology, such as displaying an ad for a certain dollar amount off a product. The customer types in his or her credit card info, and the deal is linked to the payment information.

When the customer visits a brick-and-mortar establishment, the discount is executed, so the person can get the deal in-store. This helps break down the barriers between the online and physical store experience.

In addition, your company and customers won’t have to fuss with paper coupons or flyers to honor promotions.

As soon as Twitter bought CardSpring, the commerce company updated its website with a notice that said: “CardSpring has joined the flock.” Both companies released official statements. CardSpring’s stated: “At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform … to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers.”

This is an exciting prospect, because it signals that retailers may be able to tie card-based deals to their Twitter promotional efforts. If so, this could open some amazing opportunities for loyal customers who wish to take advantage of deals encountered at your company’s social media and online store.

It will also be interesting to see how CardSpring’s goals are integrated into Twitter’s general commercial strategy.

Madbits

At the end of July 2014, a startup called Madbits announced that it had been acquired by Twitter, as well. This company specializes in image searching and analysis, which could support Twitter’s continuing efforts to integrate multimedia into tweets and advertising.

According to the Madbits website and acquisition announcement, the firm’s technology pulls a variety of data from multimedia files, including tags and statistics. The mention of tags is interesting, since it may indicate further ways to categorize images or even tag faces, the way you can do on Facebook.

Mitro

The Mitro acquisition was announced at nearly the same time — near the end of July. This startup is dedicated to securely managing passwords among teams.

It offers an ideal solution if you’re planning to give employees temporary access to work systems. The passwords go through several encryption processes, so users don’t have to worry about their credentials becoming exposed.

Since the Twitter acquisition, Mitro has become an open-source project. The company states that it will be “focusing on a variety of geo-related projects.”

Twitter’s history of acquisitions has been fast-paced and often arresting. Businesses should keep a close eye on these developments, since the company’s acquisitions can lead to social media developments that could have a significant impact on your marketing strategy.

For example, new commerce functionality could make it easier for online gamers to win exclusive prizes through mobile casino promotions.

Twitter is embracing a wide range of markets, and helping businesses connect with their audience in all-new ways. It’s exciting to see what the future holds for Twitter as it continues to move forward with acquisitions and merging of online capabilities.


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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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