Twitter Is Flying High After Hiring Google Maps Exec

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Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) stock on Tuesday rose the most since the social media company’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November after it was confirmed that the company had hired former Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Maps director Daniel Graf. The stock closed trading on Tuesday up more than 11 percent, at $45.52.

Graf fittingly confirmed his hire in a tweet, saying, “Followed Maps to find that the flock was just around the corner – excited to take wing with the @twitter product team.” Graf is now the new vice president of consumer product for the microblogging site.

Given the success of Google Maps, industry watchers and investors have high hopes for Graf’s involvement. According to a profile on Graf from Re/code, he led the Google Maps team from 2012 onward and was responsible for bringing Google Maps to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone despite the fact that Apple has a competing maps app, essentially saving all iPhone users from getting hopelessly lost while trying to use Apple Maps.

Twitter’s former vice president of consumer product, Michael Sippey, left the company at the beginning of the year. People familiar with the matter who spoke to Re/code said that Twitter has been struggling with consumer product strategy and has had a difficult time making changes to its Web and mobile offerings.

In addition to hiring Graf, Twitter also announced Tuesday that it acquired Gnip as its first data partner. Gnip will help analyze the staggering amount of data that Twitter has, dating back to the site’s inception in 2006. Twitter averages about 500 million tweets per day coming from all over the world. That’s a lot of data to try and get a grip on for better monetization.

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