Gearing up for Twitter’s self-serve advertising launch — currently in beta stage with only a small selection of advertisers — the company announced its acquisition of spam and malware protection service Dasient on Monday.
Dasient will be integrated into Twitter’s “revenue engineering team because they have a deep understanding of advertising-platform security issues,” says Rachael Horwitz, a spokesperson for Twitter. The team will be very valuable as Twitter continues to expand its ad products.
Twitter introduced its new ad service in November 2011 to a “handful” of advertisers. The self-serve platform lets advertisers purchase ads without going through a sales representative. Anyone with a credit card and the desire to utilize “Promoted Products” to boost their brand recognition can get on-board with this service. However, the service is not yet available to the public.
Twitter has moved slowly into paid advertising, starting with “Promoted Tweets” in 2010. Self-serve ads could be a huge generator of profits. The revenue Google and Facebook captured from self-service advertising rocketed those companies’ profits into the stratosphere. Twitter has proven that the site can generate advertising dollars, and despite warnings of a backlash from Twitter users, the micro-blogging site has yet to incite an uproar with users as a result of the ads — which is a good thing considering how much revenue Twitter is estimated to generate from advertising.
Twitter doesn’t reveal their profits, but market research and statistics firm eMarketer predicted Twitter’s ad-generated revenue will earn the company $399.5 million by 2013 — 12 percent of the company’s total worldwide ad revenue. Quite a massive jump from 2010, when eMarketer said Twitter made $45 million in ad revenue.
No stranger to malware threats, Twitter has faced serious security issues in the past. In 2010, the FTC ruled that Twitter would be subject to a bi-annual security audit after 55 celebrity accounts were hacked, including the accounts of Barack Obama, Britney Spears and Facebook. Spammers have also taken advantage of Twitter’s trending topics in order to target a large amount of people. As Twitter grows, so do the opportunities for hackers to exploit the site.
Protecting users from potential spam and malware attacks is important for the company’s image and reputation. Sites overrun with malware get blacklisted by search engines.
Founded by former Google employees and funded by Google Ventures, Dasient is located in Sunnyvale, Calif. The company launched an “anti-malvertising” service in 2010 and has been active in securing ad networks.
“Neil Daswani, Shariq Rizvi and Ameet Ranadive have created technology that provides network security and malware prevention service for some of the largest ad networks in the world,” Horwitz says. “Their team has an excellent understanding of advertising platform-related security issues and will be a valuable addition to the revenue engineering team.”
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