Twitter Taps Pitney Bowes Location Data For Mobile

Twitter has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement with Pitney Bowes to tap its location data for mobile services. The company will use the Location Intelligence technology to support location sharing in tweets, but it also could help more accurately target ads, tweets and locations on maps.

Pitney Bowes' technology provides latitude and longitude metrics. geocoding and reverse geocoding for mobile platforms, as well as mapping solutions for the insurance, financial services, retail and public sectors. The company said Twitter will use Pitney Bowes Location Intelligence technology to support location sharing in Tweets.

Since the technology can target the message based not just on transactional data, but also where it is at any given moment, Twitter will have an option to combine that location data for tweets with buying patterns, behaviors, preferences and influencers, and cross-reference it with nearby stores or other mobile users within an individual's social network. It uses a smartphone's GPS signal to pinpoint a location.

Although Pitney Bowes found its roots in the mail industry in 1920, other offerings today include software for location intelligence, data quality and integration, and customer communications management.

CRT Capital Analyst Neil Doshi told MediaPost Search Insider Summit attendees that he expects Twitter to generate $580 million in revenue this year -- and of that total, $430 million from mobile.

As of Q3 2013, mobile revenue contributed 73% to the total. There are 232 million monthly active users. About 75% use the platform from their mobile device. Nearly 60% of their 500 million daily tweets are sent from mobile devices.

A CRT study reached out to 7,000 Internet users in October, of which 1,676 said they use Twitter. The study aimed to find out what Twitter does on the site, how users engage with the service, what they think about the ads, and more.

Of those who participated in the CRT study 35% are heavy users, and the remainder are casual users. Some 33% consume information on the site and never tweet. About 41% access Twitter to get real-time information, but only 4% follow brands or products.

Still, 36% of users don't know what to do while on the site, which means all the data integration in the world won't solve problems related to ad targeting or location. The site clearly needs to educate users on use as well as on identifying ads. Some 86% of Twitter users said they have never clicked on a Twitter ad -- but of those who click on an ad, 52% like the relevant links. And some 87% said they would be open to seeing more ads, per Doshi.

It can be a little confusing. Doshi said Twitter ads are so native in appearance that users many not realize they're clicking on them.

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