“It’s a side benefit,” Ng said. “We all know people at Pinterest, at Snapchat and elsewhere. It doesn’t necessarily give us a leg up, but it does help us start having conversations with them.”
Founded in 2011, Manage has more than 36 employees spread across its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters and a satellite office in the UK. Clients include Machine Zone, Supercell, Verizon, Subway, Uber, Lyft, Volvo and Electronic Arts. The company is completely bootstrapped and claims to be profitable.
AdExchanger caught up with Ng one month into his new post.
AdExchanger: Why leave Twitter and move to Manage?
MIKE NG: One of the reasons I was familiar with Manage was because of my role at Twitter, where I ran the app install business. My team was responsible for working with all of the game developers and mobile-focused brands like Uber and Lyft, and also working with the sales team globally to make sure the other folks – media, entertainment, travel, retail – also understood the Twitter’s app install product.
I was aware of which DSPs were buying on MoPub through their public list of DSP partners, including Manage, which has been a longtime buyer. I knew the technology was sound. I also saw a bigger opportunity there to include more programmatic social media ad inventory.
Why are other people leaving Twitter?
It’s unfortunate that a lot of people have left. Twitter has a tough hill to climb right now and when employees hit the three- or four-year mark, that usually feels like a good time to transition out anyway. But no matter what the naysayers and investors say about MAU (monthly active user) growth, revenue and sales, Twitter is still an appealing place to work. It also has great people, which is why the ad tech market finds value in hiring Twitter alums.
It’s rare that a company doesn’t have an ex-Twitter person, which is handy for Twitter alums like myself because we have a connection and a common bond.
Twitter just released its results for the first quarter on Wednesday and it was pretty much the same story as it’s been for a while: slow MAU growth and soft advertiser interest. Could the TellApart acquisition help with that?
Prior to Twitter, I came from Criteo, so I know retargeting. When I was at Twitter and we bought TellApart, I was a little perplexed because TellApart is 99.9% about desktop retargeting and Twitter’s O&O business is about 90% in-app, so there’s not much overlap. Yes, they’re doing work around dynamic ad personalization, but I don’t think that’s the thing to be most bullish about. More than $500 million just for personalization? Probably not.
Twitter is clearly making a big bet around brands, things like content licensing deals with the NFL, not performance marketing. But Twitter could use its first-party data to bridge desktop to in-app to the mobile web – the cross-device piece. That part could very well make the acquisition worth it. But how will it be executed? We’ll have to wait and see.