TweetUp launches beta period

Platform allows tweeters to grow highly targeted following

NEW YORK -- The man who led the creation of paid Internet search is now looking to create a similar search marketplace for Twitter.

Bill Gross of incubator Idealab on Monday unveiled TweetUp Inc., described as "a new Twitter marketplace designed to showcase the world's best tweeters and enable them to grow a highly targeted following." Similar to an Internet search engine, the patent-pending platform combines the popularity, relevance and influence of tweets and tweeters with a bid-based marketplace. Partners, including Twitter search clients and Web sites, will display the results.

TweetUp is backed by Index Ventures (investor in Skype, last.fm, Myheritage and Playfish), betaworks (investor in Twitter, TweetDeck, Bit.ly), AOL co-founder Steve Case's Revolution LLC (investor in Zipcar, LivingSocial, Everyday Health), First Round Capital (investor in Mint.com, StumbleUpon, CoTweet), Jason Calacanis (founder of Mahalo) and Jeff Jarvis (founder of BuzzMachine).

"Twitter has such tremendous potential as a real-time information network far beyond what has been realized to date," said TweetUp founder and CEO Gross. "For most people, though, 80% or more of the tweets that fly by them when they're searching for something are useless noise. For serious tweeters, the task of attracting interested and relevant followers is equally daunting. TweetUp will change all of that."

TweetUp on Monday also launched a public beta period, in which tweeters can open an account and begin adding search keywords to their profile.

"When we created AOL 25 years ago, we believed in the power of community and built a significant company around it," said Case. "Twitter is proving the power of community continues to thrive, and I am excited to be backing Bill Gross and TweetUp as they innovate in the social media space by making Twitter more useful to a mainstream audience."
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