But Twitter is working to boost ad revenue while not alienating its existing user base and attract more users. In the fourth quarter, Twitter introduced new types of advertising, like TV conversation targeting, tailored audiences, conversion tracking, and promoted accounts. The company said it's being selective about the ads it places in your Timeline.
The bulk of Twitter's fourth-quarter revenue, $220 million, came from advertising, 75 percent of which was on mobile. Twitter will continue to build out its ad products but also explore other forms of revenue, like the rumored commerce platform being headed by former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard.
Costolo said experiments like the ones with American Express and Starbucks that let you trigger payment with a hashtag have been successful. He didn't offer details on when or how Twitter will roll out future buying opportunities, but you can expect Twitter's cards — the media that appear inside tweets — to be "the vehicle through which we think about commerce opportunities."
Maybe really good deals could draw new users in, thereby solving Twitter's pair of problems as a young company: customers and cash.
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