Twitter Acquires In-Browser SEM Manager AdGrok

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ADOTAS – The best ones always get snatched up fast — in-browser SEM management tool AdGrok has been acquired Twitter for an undisclosed amount. As of today, the company is now a part of the Twitter revenue engineering team — although cofounder Antonio Garcia-Martinez is actually headed to Facebook to become a product manager.

“When Twitter approached us and asked if we’d be interested in working on their monetization platform, we realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up,” gushes the company blog. “The fact that the Twitter team is both smart and user-focused only made our decision easier.”

When AdGrok launched a few months ago, Garcia-Martinez explained to Adotas that “Unlike every other marketing solution in the universe, AdGrok places your data and tools in context, inside your browser, on the pages you’re advertising. It’s a natural part of your browsing experience.” The in-browser GrokBar gave SEM professionals real-time actionable insights and allowed them to make instant campaign adjustments regarding bids and keywords.

AdGrok is taking on no more clients, will stop charging existing users immediately and will be shutting down its servers and the GrokBar on June 30, when it will also unlink all customers from AdGrok Google accounts and securely delete the AdGrok databases. The blog states that performance data and campaign structures from AdGrok will not be shared with Twitter.

The acquisition is a bit of a surprise — I would have expected Google to snatch up such a useful tool to please its SEM clients. Considering that Twitter has been dogged by the lackluster performance of its ad products, the acquisition suggests the microblogger will be rolling out more a expansive advertising product (read: more like Google’s paid search product) that uses AdGrok as a management system.

How curious, how curious — Twitter will be unveiling its photo-sharing service at the D9 conference next Wednesday, but I wonder if they may also have a surprise for advertisers…

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