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Twitter appoints first commerce chief with brand services on agenda

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Twitter has hired former Ticketmaster chief exec Nathan Hubbard as its first vice president of commerce. The indications are that it is looking to develop a service for brands to sell goods to consumers from within tweets to generate a new revenue stream beyond advertising.

Hubbard’s appointment was confirmed in a tweet by head of revenue Adam Bain, whom he will report to. He 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 possible Twitter will use its Cards feature – which allows users to preview multimedia content such as images and Vines without clicking away from the website – for retailers to feature their products before users click through to buy.

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

Hubbard became CEO of ticketing at Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Previously he was chief executive of Live Nation commerce and a part of the team that launched Live Nation Ticketing in 2009.

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

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

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