Los Angeles-based Ad.ly, the Twitter advertising startup, is further looking to diversify its service from Twitter, saying this week that it has added support for Facebook. The firm--which originally started as a way for celebrities, athletes, and others on Twitter to place advertising in their stream--said the move is part of a move to extend its reach beyond Twitter, Twitter apps, and MySpace. Ad.ly had added support for MySpace in June, shortly after Twitter said it would not allow other companies to automatically include advertising into Twitter.
The move is similar to a move by fellow Twitter ad startup TweetUp, started by Idealab's Bill Gross, which added Facebook status updates at the end of August. Both Ad.ly and TweetUp, as well as other Twitter-dependent services, have had to diversify their services away from the Twitter ecosystem, as the micro-messaging provider has increasingly been pulling third party functions into its core service. In fact, just yesterday, Twitter rolled out a new design which embeds images and video directly into streams, a serious threat to third party providers like TwitPic, YFrog, and others. Twitter has rolled out its own mobile applications in competition with third party Twitter clients; its own link shortener; and its own advertising service.
Ad.ly said its advertisers now include firms such as Microsoft, Sony, Toyota, American Airlines, and NBC, and that it has more than 70,000 influencers using its services to place brand promotions and micro-endorsements into the various social networking services it supports. The firm is backed by Greycroft Partners, GRP Partners, and Matt Coffin.