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Twitter plans Atlanta expansion, picks Ponce City Market

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Twitter is taking flight in Atlanta, with expansion plans that include new offices in a high-profile technology hub.

The San Francisco-based social networking company (NYSE: TWTR) will lease about 8,000 square foot at Ponce City Market in Old Fourth Ward.

The $200 million ambitious mixed-use redevelopment that has attracted tech-brands MailChimp, athenahealth, Cardlytics and HowStuffWorks. Google is said to be scouting Ponce City Market for a new office.

The expansion will grow Twitter’s Atlanta sales and marketing teams to about 70 people, according to a source familiar with Twitter’s plans.

Twitter, for its part, isn’t chirping about its growth plans: “We have nothing to announce at this time,” a spokeswoman said.

The new office, scheduled to open in the summer, will include brand strategists, who help Fortune 500 enterprises such as The Home Depot and The Coca-Cola Co. craft marketing campaigns on the social networking site. Those campaigns are a major revenue stream for Twitter, which reported $361 million in third quarter sales.

“Across the landscape of $1 billion digital advertising businesses, we are the fastest growing business within that landscape,” Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told CNBC in October.

Twitter’s Atlanta growth — the company currently employs about 15 in a small office in Midtown’s Proscenium building — makes sense.

With its Fortune 500 brands, emerging tech scene and influential digital agencies, Atlanta is a “key hub” as Twitter positions itself to monetize its large user-base.

Twitter models itself more as a media property than a social network.

Twitter is trying to move from a unique, buzzy new platform that most Americans don’t fully understand, into a viable way for brands to leverage it for customer acquisition and engagement, and for monitoring real-time feedback and data trends, said Simms Jenkins, CEO of Atlanta-based BrightWave, a digital marketing agency.

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