Twitter's Revenue Chief Adam Bain Talks Ad Explosion

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.

(Read More: Crowds Expected to Flood South by Southwest)

"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.

(Read More: Twitter Is Worth $8.6 Billion: Hamadeh)

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."

Contact SXSW

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.


Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Latest Special Reports

  • In this ever increasing volatile world only leaders who can manage fast change can survive and prosper.

  • Famous founders reveal their secrets on how to build an iconic company—and change the world in the process.

  • Financial advisors stress that now is the time for investors to get serious about year-end financial planning checkup.