Twitter is teaming with American Express to launch its new automated system for advertisers – freeing them from the need to deal with Twitter sales reps. Initally, the system will be open only to businesses who accept or use American Express cards.
Amercian Express says it will buy $100 in Twitter ads for the first 10,000 qualified U.S. small businesses that sign up.
Later this year, Twitter will open up the system to other businesses and marketers.
The micro-blogging service, which has 100 million users, made approximately $140 million last year, according to eMarketer. It probably needs to do better than that before launching an anticipated initial public offering of stock. Emarketer predicts it will make about $250 million selling ads this year.
By comparison, Facebook made $3.2 bllion and Google $36.5 billion last year.
Yelp prices IPO stock at $12 to $14 a share
In an amended SEC filing, Yelp, which publishes recommendations and reviews of restaurants, shopping and entertainment and services, says the starting price range on its upcoming initial public offering of stock will be $12 to $14. Yelp filed for the IPO in November.
The company, which disclosed $58.4 million in revenue for the first three quarters of 2011, the bulk of it from advertising.
Rocky Agrawal recently editorialized in VentureBeat that Yelp advertising rips off small businesses by charging 1,000 times more than the industry standard and the ads are poorly targeted.
Flickr co-founder launches another startup
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, has launched a new startup called Pinwheel, currently in private beta.
Pinwheel lets users create notes and pin them to locations. Users can follow others – much like Pinterest. It will make money from sponsored notes.
San Francisco-based Pinwheel is backed by Redpoint Ventures, True Ventures, BEtaworks, Founder Collective, SV Angel, Obvious Corp, and angel investors. It is currently hiring iOS developers.