South By Southwest Interactive was famously a turning point for Twitter back in 2007. Now the conference is a key destination for Twitter to meet with its exploding advertiser base. We spoke with Twitter's president of global revenue, Adam Bain, in between his standing-room-only, on-stage Q&A and his back-to-back meetings with advertisers.
"There are hundreds of chief marketing officers now descended on SXSW," he said. "When I first joined the company two-and-a-half years ago, the question was, 'Why Twitter?' and now it's 'How Twitter?' "
Bain added that he's now focused on how to educate marketers with best-use cases.
The company is showing marketers how the new partnerships it's inked in the past few months can work for them. Bain said the launch of a Twitter ads application programming interface, or API, just a few weeks ago will make it much easier to buy Twitter ads.
"The reaction has been terrific so far," Bain said, saying he's proud of the company's growth.
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"We like to say whether it's real or televised, marketing has always been about winning the moment," Bain said. With TV, Twitter is trying to help advertisers win that moment with a new partnership with Nielsen to measure the impact of advertising. At SXSW, Twitter is seeing a surge of ads surrounding marketing initiatives here.
Twitter isn't just focused on ads, however, it's also looking for new uses for its technology. A year after launching a partnership with American Express to give Twitter users who are AmEx card holders special discounts, the company is working on a "Tweet to Buy" capability.
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The coolest trend Bain has spotted at SXSW? How much better the technology has become, he said, and how it is less obvious and less intrusive: "What's interesting here, some of the best stuff are things that make technology feel weightless."