Social graph plotter 33Across has acquired Tynt Multimedia, which provides publisher tools that analyze user intent and interest data for more than 500,000 websites. Terms were not disclosed.
The two companies are complementary, says 33Across CEO Eric Wheeler. Tynt helps publishers understand how users share their content, while 33Across helps advertisers identify prospects by analyzing consumers' social connections.
"What Tynt built and what we have is so synergistic, we realized that we can expand our growth from just servicing premium brand advertisers to also serving premium publishing brands. It's a natural business extension for us," says 33Across CEO Eric Wheeler.
33Across builds customized social networks of consumers who are connected to a marketer's most valuable customers and prospects. It also lets them learn about the social characteristics of customers via its SocialDNA platform. The company says that, on average, it can connect a brand with an audience that is more than 20 times that of its existing brand loyalists. It maintains its own ad sales team and ad delivery system.
Says Wheeler, "We see people who are purchasing or are brand-favorable, and overlay our technology to identify people we know that are connected to that person and share their interest, in order to build a larger pool of people. We can then predict their behavior, and target and deliver ads to them."
In a report analyzing performance for 250 campaigns in Q3 and Q4 2011, 33Across claims 302 percent lift in brand engagement for consumer packaged goods advertisers; an 8.2 times increase in bookings for the travel sector; and over 350 percent incremental ROI for the consumer electronics vertical.
Tynt provides services that let publishers understand what content visitors cut and paste. The most obvious to users is Tynt SEO. When someone pastes content from a website into an email, blog or site, Tynt automatically adds a "read more" URL link back to the content on the originating site.
Says David Mandelbrot, formerly CEO of Tynt, "Publishers could see ways users were interacting with their content and, which content on the page users were copying. It gives publishers an idea of what specific content is important to that user."
"One fascinating piece of information is that more sharing is currently happening through email than through Facebook and Twitter. Publishers use that information to ensure that that email sharing results in more traffic for the publisher," Mandelbrot says.
In addition, Tynt Keywords identifies the words and phrases that users copy and paste into the browser search bar, helping publishers identify content gaps. It identifies words that are cut and pasted most often, and it analyzes links shared via social media. Tynt clients include Smithsonian.com, Seventeen and Sports Illustrated.
Tynt will operate as a unit of 33Across, and Mandelbrot will lead the unit as general manager of publisher solutions.
The companies say that by banding together, they can serve publishers fighting for the 17 percent of display ad revenue not hovered up by the Big Five publishers. Tynt's 500,000 publishers will be able to use the 33Across Brand Graph to gain insight into social activity, interests, and loyalty around their brands.
While the industry has been geeking out on the potential of the social graph to provide consumer insight and better ad targeting since Google and partners introduced the OpenSocial concept in 2007, it hasn't gained much traction.
Even Facebook, which is, in essence, a single, immense social graph, has denied it has plans to launch an internal ad network based on users' connections and its Open Graph initiative that lets people like pages and third-party websites.
Last week, Google retired its Social Graph API, which was based on OpenSocial, saying it hadn't achieved the hoped-for level of adoption. The API made information about the public connections between people on the web available for developers.
At the same time, Google made moves to integrate its Google+ social graph into most of its properties.
Wheeler says that his company's performance stats prove that targeting people's connections works. He also points to the combined reach of the two companies: 1.25 billion users, versus Google's 1 billion and Facebook's 800 million users. He says, "We are enabling the capability that, at a high level, is what Facebook is offering, and what Twitter and LinkedIn may at some point offer: the ability to understand real-time data, interest and social connections around a brand and make it actionable. If you're Cheerios, you can find people who are saying, 'I'm eating Cheerios.'"
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
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