Twitter hopes to grow small-business revenue through AI self-serve

Platform is buying London start-up that is building 'first AI-powered virtual colleague for marketers'.

Twitter: wants to increase small-business client base
Twitter: wants to increase small-business client base

Twitter is buying Aiden.AI, a London start-up whose technology will be used to introduce self-serve tools for advertisers that are powered by artificial intelligence.

The microblogging platform said the move marks a first step towards growing its self-serve offerings and improving its ad products for customers looking to extend reach on Twitter.

Twitter was very impressed with the tech that Aiden has created, having built a team with experience of developing campaign monitoring and optimisation tools for API-based platforms for social media.

On Aiden’s website, the company says it is building "the first AI-powered virtual colleague for marketers". Twitter is hoping to integrate Aiden’s technology in the coming months.

Twitter is determined to increase the "long tail" of its customer base by making it easier for small businesses to buy ads directly. The company’s most recent investor update last month reiterated how reliant Twitter is on large and mid-tier advertisers, which make up a "sizeable majority" of its ad revenue. 

Eleven people from Aiden will move from Islington to Twitter’s office in Soho and align with Goldbird, its revenue team, and its self-serve advertising team. 

Twitter would not say whether the acquisition would lead to job losses, but Aiden will have to shut down its existing client accounts so that it can focus on serving Twitter clients. 

Bruce Falck, vice-president of revenue product at Twitter, said of the acquisition: "This technology is a first step in helping us better unlock Twitter for small businesses as we improve our self-serve offerings over time for our customers.

"We are also excited to bolster our team in London and continue our efforts to decentralise our teams and ensure global distribution."

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