Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Tutorials, for $10,000 a Month

Publishing on social media is all about speed and simplicity: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, et al, are designed to let you push out a message with a couple of clicks.

But even that process can be too cumbersome if you’re a big brand with lots of messages to push out. That’s the idea, more or less, behind Percolate: The start-up sells big marketers software that’s supposed to help them figure out what they should share.

This might seem odd to people who already spend all day on Twitter (cough). But Percolate says it has already signed up a couple dozen Fortune 500 companies, and charges them around $10,000 per brand, per month, for its service.

Percolate says it can help brands figure out what to Tweet, Facebook, etc., by telling them what their customers are interested in reading/hearing about. And it suggests ways to talk about it, using digital assets they already own and stuff they can find on the Web.

Now the two-year-old company has money to expand, courtesy of a $9 million series A round led by GGV Capital; earlier investor First Round Capital is also back.

Percolate is one of New York’s buzziest start-ups. That’s in part because people are bullish on co-founders Noah Brier and James Gross, who came out of the Barbarian Group, the hip ad agency, and Federated Media, John Battelle’s ad network.

Percolate’s other selling point is that it fits nicely with the “native advertising” meme that has gotten lots of play in the last year, where lots of people are trying to figure out how to meld marketing with “authentic” content.

If you’re a skeptic, you can simply argue that this is a new name for an old idea — the advertorial — and that it will have limited legs. But if you’re a believer, particularly in the “in-stream” ad model for the likes of Facebook and Twitter, then you’ll place a premium on people who can create compelling content for those services. Percolate’s pitch: Pay us $120,000 a year, and we’ll help you do that.

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