Twitter’s Downtown Detroit Office to Chase “Big Three” Ad Dollars

4/4/12Follow @XconomyDET

Social media giant Twitter announced today that it’s opening an office in downtown Detroit, hoping to tap into the region’s pool of digital marketing dollars with a small staff focused on advertising sales.

Twitter’s decision to set up shop in the Rock Ventures-owned Madison Building adds to Dan Gilbert’s quest to make the whiteboard-and-Nerf gun-heavy facility a hub for tech ventures.

San Francisco-based Twitter’s microblogging service allows users to post real-time status updates of 140 characters or less. It has approximately 200 million registered accounts, and has stepped up efforts to earn money from advertising in recent months.

The privately held company doesn’t disclose its financial performance, but industry analyst eMarketer recently estimated Twitter’s 2011 revenue was nearly $140 million, with projected growth to some $260 million this year.

Bruce Schwartz, a “Detroit relocation amabassador” for Bedrock Real Estate Services, says Twitter’s Detroit team is already in the process of moving in. He says the Detroit operation will initially consist of a handful of staffers and is expected to grow from there.

So why Detroit, and why now? Schwartz says Twitter’s decision to open an office here allows them to better serve major local clients like the Big Three automakers.

“Twitter recognizes that Detroit is the place to be for tech companies,” Schwartz says. “It proves that [the Madison Building] fosters that kind of business.”

In the past 18 months, 40 “new-economy” tenants have moved into the Madison Building, including Detroit Labs, Detroit Venture Partners, Bizdom, Flud, Are You a Human, and UpTo.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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