Twitter makes two new mgmt hires to bolster brand

Ronny Kerr · July 25, 2011 · Short URL:

Pam Kramer named VP of consumer marketing, Joel Lunenfeld named director of global brand strategy

Twitter announced Monday that it has made two key new hires to bolster its senior management team: Pam Kramer joins as the company’s first vice president of consumer marketing and Joel Lunenfeld joins director of global brand strategy. (via VentureBeat)

Kramer most recently served as general manager at GreenRoad, which offers programs for fleets to reduce driving risks and save on fuel costs. Before that, she worked for three and a half years at Zoomerang and for nearly nine years at E*TRADE, in both positions as chief marketing officer. With over a decade’s worth of experience in leading marketing for companies private and public, small and large, Kramer’s skills will be put to the test at Twitter.

She also currently serves as an advisor at Lending Club, the personal loan and investing site.

The other new team member, Lunenfeld, hails from Moxie Interactive, a digital advertising company. He led Moxie as CEO for nearly a decade. Before that, Lunenfeld held other lower-level positions at Moxie as well as media manager positions at 360i, a digital agency, and Xceed, provider of data and software components

“Pam and Joel are significant hires whose experience and leadership will help strengthen the way we talk to both consumers and major brands about Twitter around the world,” said Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “I’m thrilled to have them join our already strong senior management team.”

By hiring Kramer and Lunenfeld, Twitter is aiming for more mainstream adoption of its microblogging platform. While it is definitely seen as one of the most influential social sites next to Facebook, with 200 million members, it still has a long way to go before “tweets,” “hashtags” and the rest are understood and accepted by a wider slice of the Internet audience.

From a wider perspective, the move to strengthen relationships with users (and potential users) parallels similar moves to improve ties with the media and developers.

The new hires join Twitter just a few days after four product managers--Kevin Cheng, Josh Elman, Anamitra Banerji and Jean-Paul Cozzatti--were let go by the company, a decision directed by Jack Dorsey, head of product. Dorsey also serves as CEO of Square.

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.