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Twitter's Mitro Acquisition Could Yield Better Targeted Ads

  |  August 4, 2014   |  Comments

A few years after the purchase of location-aware app maker Mixer Labs, Twitter has acquired password-security start-up Mitro to collaborate on geo-related projects.

Twitter has inked a deal to acquire password manager start-up Mitro, which will be joining the microblogging service's location team in New York, and potentially helping the platform deliver better targeted ads.

Mitro's primary service allows users to share online passwords or manage passwords from a single account.

However, in the agreement, Twitter says it will keep Mitro's service as it is. And, as another component of the deal, Mitro will release a new free and open source password manager to its clients.

Interestingly, it seems Twitter will not integrate Mitro's password-sharing technology, as the start-up said in a statement that the two companies will be more likely to collaborate on a number of geo-related projects.

Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Since Twitter declined to provide details about these projects, it's too early to tell how Twitter will apply the geolocation technology.

However, industry insiders predict Twitter can use it in two ways: To generate more relevant content and to deliver better targeted ads or promotions.

"Twitter can use geolocation technology to boil up greater content of interest," says Jason Burby, president of the Americas at global digital agency Possible.

For example, if a user is at a sporting event like the World Cup, Twitter can use geolocation technology to identify where the user is and deliver World-Cup-related tweets to the user, he says.

"And based on where users are, and where they have been, Twitter can better target and deliver relevant advertising to consumers as well," Burby adds.

The acquisition of Mitro is similar to Twitter's Mixer Labs deal back in 2009. In December of that year, Twitter purchased the start-up, which created a GeoAPI product to help app makers know where their users were. Twitter integrated this geo-tagging technology to enable users to add location tags to their tweets.

Founded in 2012, Mitro was backed by $1.2 million in seed funding from Google Ventures and Matrix Partners.

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Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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