Twitter buys social analytics firm BackType

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Twitter has acquired social analytics company BackType, the company said July 5.

BackType's BackTweets product enables publishers to view how their tweets and content are shared via the social networking site and analyze corresponding key performance indicators, such as website traffic and conversions. BackType customers include Microsoft Corp., AOL, and agencies Razorfish and JWT.

A Twitter representative said all four BackType employees started as Twitter staffers the same day.

Ryan Sarver, director of platform at Twitter, said in a statement that the BackType team will “focus on creating tools for Twitter's publisher partners.”

“BackType's two founders, Christopher Golda and Michael Montano, were among the first to mine Twitter fire hose data to help some of the world's biggest publishers understand the impact of their tweets,” said Sarver. “The BackType team will bring this technology and expertise to Twitter to help Web publishers get the most of out of the platform.”

Many marketers continue to be puzzled by social media attribution. Nicholas Utton, EVP and CMO of E-Trade Financial Corp., said at the Direct Marketing Association's All For One Marketing Summit last month that he didn't know how to measure social ROI.

Last month, Google acquired social analytics firm PostRank, which measures social media engagement for advertisers and publishers. Jake Wengroff, global director of social media strategy and research at Frost & Sullivan, said at the time the acquisition would expand marketers' ability to measure social ROI.

In March, Sarver said Twitter planned to expand its ad offerings in the fourth quarter with the rollout of Promoted Tweets to all users' timelines. At the time, Sarver compared Promoted Tweets to Google's AdWords.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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