Twitter IPO: UK firms lining up to make money from stock market listing - Business Analysis & Features - Business - The Independent

Twitter IPO: UK firms lining up to make money from stock market listing

Britain is at the forefront of the new 'social sector', and the number of companies profiting from it is ever growing

It's not just the Americans who will benefit from Twitter's stock market listing today in New York. Britain has already minted its first Twitter millionaire, Iain Dodsworth, who sold his start-up Tweetdeck to the microblogging platform two years ago, and the number of companies dedicated to making money from the microblogging site this side of the pond is ever growing.

In a leafy Reading business park a company founded by the man who invented the "retweet" button on Twitter, is quietly looking to make sense of the mass of information hidden within tweets. DataSift specialises in "data mining" the information contained within a tweet, such as where it was sent from, what type of device it came from and what operating system was used.

"We are making the data manageable and adding context," says founder Nick Halstead. The company, begun in 2010, has archived every tweet ever published on Twitter and already counts banks, the BBC and Dell among its clients.

"Our job is to take all the world's social data, which is many billions of items, and make that manageable," explains Mr Halstead. "We have most of the major global banks work with us. In finance, news is everything. More and more, everything is being announced on Twitter first. Our job is to – in real time –spot those trends.

The UK is Twitter's biggest market behind the US, and after the £2m sale of Tweetdeck two years ago, many firms cottoned on to the opportunities offered by the platform.

"There's a whole industry that's growing up [around Twitter], in much the same way as in the 1950s and 1960s you started seeing the advertising agencies emerge," says Ian Maude, an online media analyst at Enders Analysis.

The north-London marketing firm TBG Digital is one of just five Twitter advertising partners globally. The so-called "API" deal gives the 120-strong agency access to Twitter's advertising back-end, letting it build custom campaigns on the site without having to go through Twitter itself for clients such as Vodafone, Heineken and Hugo Boss.

Founded in 2003, TBG was also the first UK company to sign a similar advertising partnership with Facebook in 2009. Its creative director, Ian Cassidy, says Twitter represents a much-smaller percentage of spend, but expects the company, like Facebook, will invest more in product development following its listing, giving it more products to test with clients.

Product development is already under way. In August Twitter signed up the UK-based research firm Kantar Media to build tools that will let advertisers and broadcasters see what people are saying about TV programmes on the site in real time.

"Twitter can provide colour in terms of how people are engaging with TV programmes as opposed to absolute numbers," says Kantar's chief executive, Andy Brown.

"We will look at the impact of hashtags – if broadcasters are putting a hashtag in a promotion for a programme, does that boost the actual audience numbers?

"There's some evidence from the US that this works, with the final episode of Breaking Bad for example."

Kantar's parent company, the British advertising giant WPP, is one of the largest media buyers on the site and the Kantar deal is part of a larger partnership between Twitter and WPP.

Revenue from Twitter UK is growing fast – $43m (£27m) so far this year and accounting for 10 per cent of worldwide turnover in the last quarter.

The London-based start-up Grabyo is also hoping to cash in on Twitter as a multi-media platform. Founded this year by Will Neale, the company lets broadcasters edit and share TV clips on social media in real time.

As transfer deadline day arrived for the Premier League, Grabyo launched the service in partnership with Sky Sports, broadcasting clips directly on Twitter.

The businesses mentioned offer just a snapshot of the UK's Twitter economy, with countless companies using Twitter in some way for their business.

"It's wider than just Twitter," Enders' Mr Maude adds. "We're seeing a shift from the older, content-driven media industry to much more of an audience-driven market."

The UK is at the forefront of this new "social" sector, as the country's budding Twitter economy shows.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Sport
David Moyes and Rio Ferdinand
FootballRio Ferdinand on why the former manager failed at United
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
News
i100
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week