Twitter Nears In-Stream Advertising

Micro-blogging tries to cash in

Twitter may be one step closer to introducing advertisements on the main feature of the site, the streaming tweet time line. The plan to place promotions in the tweet stream has been in the works for more than a year, and now it looks as if the idea is gaining traction on the sidelines of the Cannes Lions event.

The Financial Times reports that Twitter’s head of revenue, Adam Bain, has been using the Cannes event as a meeting ground to discuss the potential for in-stream advertising with marketers. Twitter is projected to post $100 million in revenue this year, compared to $3.5 billion in revenue for Facebook’s display advertising. The discrepancy, along with Twitter’s 300 million registered users, continues to fuel a search for profitability in a venture that has only meekly forayed into the world of marketing in its five-year history.

Other revenue-generating concepts for Twitter are floating around, such as a Groupon-esque feature and premium products that brands can use to enhance their Twitter experience. But the in-stream promotional tweet appears to be most imminent. The concept has already been tested in a third-party mobile client, HootSuite, however any mainstream change to the untainted time line could face pushback from users not accustomed to obtrusive advertising on the site.