Twitter has “the largest set of public conversations out there” and companies are buying the data those conversations produce for various purposes.
Revenue isn’t Twitter’s main mission, according to the company’s head of global revenue, Adam Bain. “We hope to touch every person on the planet,” he said, and revenue “is a byproduct of that.”
What exactly he meant by “touch every person” went unsaid, but Bain, speaking to several thousand people at Dublin’s international Web Summit, did his best to make the case that Twitter is headed for big success, despite the cratering of its stock two weeks ago when it announced a decline in user growth.
Still, Twitter’s “byproduct” hit $361 million in the third quarter, he noted, and “we feel we’re just getting started”.
Bain took the crowd through through Twitter’s three sources of revenue: ads, data, and e-commerce.
Ad sales are the company’s main source of cash. One reason is “the ads look and feel just like the organic content,” – organic content meaning the stuff people tweet about. “That yields amazing advantages,” he said, as users retweet “on behalf of advertisers.”
Twitter also offers programs where advertisers pay less the more engaging their ads are. That encourages advertisements to be “good, not just loud.”