Twitter hires former Ticketmaster CEO to lead drive into e-commerce

Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard has been hired by Twitter to lead the firm’s move drive into e-commerce.

Hubbard has been handed the role of head of commerce for the social networking firm, and will report to Twitter’s head of global revenue, Adam Bain, reported Bloomberg.

Hubbard announced his appointment on Twitter, stating: "To me, Twitter is a cardiogram of the passion of the live moment. So I'm excited to announce I've joined the flock as Head of Commerce!"

The move into e-commerce will see Twitter offer retailers the ability to sell goods and services inside tweets. It is likely that this would be done through the ‘Cards’ feature, which enables users to view multimedia content.

Hubbard said that the e-commerce plans will not take business from retailers, with Twitter teaming up with merchants and providers of payment services.  The social networking site would likely take a percentage of sales, however.

Twitter has been trying to find new sources of revenue as it prepares for an IPO, expected in the near future, adding new services such as sponsored tweets. It is thought that by adding an e-commerce platform, Twitter will also become more attractive to companies wishing to advertise on the site. The company hopes to grow its ad revenues past $1 billion (£0.65 billion) in 2014.

The company has dabbled in the sale of goods in the past. For example, the EarlyBird service allowed firms to promote exclusive in tweets for a period of time, but customers were still required to click through to the advertiser’s sites, with the likes of Disney and Virgin America taking up the service.

Twitter also partnered with American Express earlier this year, allowing customers to sync their card and account details, enabling the purchase of a small selection of goods by tweeting a specific hashtag.

Twitter is not the only social media company to attempt to gain a stronger foothold in e-commerce. Facebook recently announced that it would be trialling mobile payment features.

Facebook’s system would allow users to make payments by storing card details onsite, which would then automatically be filled in, with purchases completed by PayPal.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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