Twitter hires first head of ecommerce

Twitter has hired former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard as its first vice president of commerce as it looks to develop a service for brands to sell goods to consumers from within tweets to generate a new revenue stream beyond advertising.

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Hubbard will be responsible for looking for payment services and retailers to enable sales on the site, from which it would take a share for facilitating the purchase. By building an ecommerce service, Twitter would also be able to improve the insight about its users it offers to advertisers.

It is likely Twitter would use its Cards feature – which allows users to preview multi-media content such as images and Vines without the need to click away from the website – for retailers to feature their products before users click through to buy.

Twitter is currently partnering with research company Datalogix to track when Promoted Tweets lead to purchases inside physical retail stores.

Hubbard will report into Twitter’s head of global revenue Adam Bain.

He became CEO of ticketing at Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Previously he was chief executive officer of Live Nation commerce, overseeing all digital, ticket and commerce initiatives for the company and being part of the team that launched Live Nation Ticketing in 2009.

Prior to that he was chief executive officer of direct to fan commerce site Musictoday, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2006.

His appointment comes as Twitter prepares for an initial public offering, which reports suggest may happen next year. Twitter is estimated to generate $582.8m in advertising revenue this year and $1bn in 2014, according to research firm eMarketer. The company was valued at $10bn in a private funding round earlier this year, according to reports.

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