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Twitter Ad Network Ad.ly Receives $5 Million


Twitter in-stream advertising network Ad.ly, which was only launched last 2009, was reported to have received $5 million in additional funding. This revolutionizing social media tool acquired funding from GRP Partners, Greycroft Partners and Matt Coffin, founder of LowerMyBills. Previously, also Ad.ly raised $500,000 in seed funding from GRP Partners. In addition to the raised funds, the advertising network has also named its new chief executive officer. Arnie Gullov-Singh will take over the company as CEO and will replace Sean Rad, the founder of the company. Arnie Gullov-Singh was a former executive vice president of product, technology, and operations at the News Corp’s Fox Audience Network, a company he helped establish a couple of years ago. Sean Rad will continue his duties with Ad.ly as president.

Last year, Ad.ly was created as a new social media tool that would be incorporated in Twitter’s stream. It takes advantage of Twitter’s rising popularity and rapidly growing community, with around 52 million users in the United States alone. It is an in-stream advertising platform that allows you to monetize the valuable content you are producing in social media streams like Twitter. Ad.ly matches advertisers of well-known brands and specific products with the most influential Twitter community members and publishers to reach a high volume of Twitter audience. It is quite similar and acts as a revolutionizing alternative to the traditional product endorsement by popular celebrities and well-respected public figures.

Ad.ly is a win-win system of advertising for both advertisers and Twitter publishers. It allows Twitter publishers to earn money from the ad content they put on Twitter by paying them to tweet daily advertisements that contain links to marketing campaigns to their respective followers on behalf of brands they approve of. To ensure validity in Ad.ly, the tool will only automatically send an ad tweet in the publisher’s feed everyday once the person only explicitly approves of it. Ad.ly also allows publishers to set the amount they prefer advertisers to pay.

On the other hand, advertisers enjoy the additional online presence they get from Ad.ly’s self-service platform that allows them to choose which influential user in Twitter they can present their marketing campaigns to and then offer a bid to that user. Currently, there are a lot of noteworthy members on Twitter who have a big following. There are popular figures, from Hollywood celebrities to business moguls, from prominent literary figures to well-known politicians, who have millions of followers, and they are the avenues that advertisers can collaborate with.

Ad.ly unique advertising methods and accurate machine learning algorithms allow advertisers to spread their message or promotions to the right target end-users in Twitter’s stream based on the tweets they are usually reading and their location and interests. It utilizes advanced analytics to sort out and provide valuable data to advertisers such as user involvement, gender segmentation, and sentiment analysis so advertisers can target the right publishers who will, in turn, spread their marketing campaigns to the right audience.

Ad.ly’s setup has been effective so far; it has reportedly resulted in clickthrough as high as ten times that of ordinary ad displays. Ad.ly’s network of publishers has grown to over 70,000 Twitter members, several of which have millions of followers. Regardless of the number of followers, Ad.ly is open to anyone wants to become a publisher. Some influential Twitter publishers currently include Hollywood celebrity Kim Kardashian, rapper Soulja Boy, and well-being guru Deepak Chopra.

A lot of companies have already been using Ad.ly as an avenue for advertising, several of them well-known. These include Clicker, Microsoft, NBC and Universal. They have benefitted from the marketing power of Ad.ly which helps advertisers meet their business objectives: heightened brand awareness, brand affinity, growing market share, and increased online traffic and conversions.

Ad.ly’s success has prompted Twitter to create a proprietary advertising platform. Indeed, the company has just unveiled this in the form of “Promoted Tweets.” This platform will work quite differently from Ad.ly, but expect that this will be integrated in social media streams anytime soon. The future of in-stream advertising will be as promising as ever.