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Twitter invests in Swirl to serve you targeted ads while you shop at the mall

By   /  April 28, 2015  /  No Comments


Or the grocery store. Or anywhere you buy stuff.

In-store push notifications (AKA in-store ads) is a bandwagon that a lot of retailers want to jump on, but the problem is that it’s difficult to get them going. For the push notifications to work, when and where ever they’re being sent, people have to have an app installed. However, Business Insider is reporting that Twitter Ventures, an investment arm of the social media platform, has thrown in with Swirl, a beacon marketing platform.

Although Swirl does a variety of things related to advertising, their bread and butter seems to be beacons that allow retailers to send push notifications to individuals in a store. Per the Wall Street Journal:

Swirl’s platform suggests marketers send notifications and offers based on where shoppers are in a store, how often they have visited a certain display and how long they have stayed there. The platform also includes an option so marketers can automate such offers and create programs once certain criterion are met.

The important bit here is that the push notifications can be sent through apps like Twitter. Although Swirl already boasts a roster of well-recognized clients, including Urban Outfitters and Marriott, they are stymied by only being able to send notifications to those with an app installed. However, if Swirl were to partner with a social media app that millions of people already had installed, (*cough* Twitter *cough*) it would eliminate most of what is holding in-store push notifications back from becoming mainstream.


In addition to specific retailers being able to send notifications to customers in stores, Swirl also allows brands that sell within stores to send notifications as well. For example, if someone is in the makeup aisle of a store, a push notification from L’Oreal might be sent.

Although Twitter hasn’t discussed the issue, pretty much everyone who’s heard of the investment assumes that they will be pairing with Swirl in the future to make in-store push notifications possible through the mobile Twitter app. They’d basically be insane not to since it will open up even more advertising opportunities for the platform, something they’re desperately trying to do as they compete with Facebook.

Image Credit: Swirl

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I'm an avid reader of stuff and devour information of all kind. For the past four years, I've been pursuing my passion for writing. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll find me knitting. Follow me on twitter: @MarilynMaupinTS

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