Recent news suggests Twitter has taken another small step toward an IPO.
That step: hiring its first head of commerce — a 38-year-0ld man named Nathan Hubbard, who was previously president at Ticketmaster, owned by Live Nation Entertainment (LYV).
Adding commerce to the company’s wheelhouse will allow Twitter to expand its revenue stream beyond just advertising. Twitter made $260 million in ad revenues in 2012, and is on track to make around $400 million this year, according to eMarketer.
So far, that money has come thanks to features like promoted tweets and promoted accounts.
Now, though, as Grid Ventures Chairman Michael Scissons told Bloomberg, the company is hoping to “monetize on the passion of the moment.” The social site isn’t dealing with payments or turning into an actual retailer, but is hoping to better provide a platform for “savvy retailers get your attention and then let you seamlessly go and buy something.”
Or, more simply, as Hubbard himself put it: “We’re going to go to people who have stuff to sell and help them use Twitter to sell it more effectively.”
That will put the microblogging site (estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion) up against not just its usual competitor Facebook (FB), but also even against e-commerce players like Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY), along with search sites like Yahoo (YHOO) and Google (GOOG) that also have shopping verticals.
So, Hubbard’s experience selling concert venue inventory could come in handy, Barron’s Dimitra DeFotis writes.
Mix in reports that Twitter held some informal chats with Wall Street firms and banks last week, as well as Facebook hitting a new high earlier this week — and it seems even more likely that an initial public offering is indeed getting closer.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.