Adam Bain Now Head of Revenue at Twitter -- Even Though It Doesn't Have Any (Updated)

Last Updated Aug 26, 2010 1:12 PM EDT

Here's one way to tell the world that you're serious about raking in ad revenue: hire a big name online ad sales exec, and, while, you're at it, name him president of revenue -- even if you don't have much. That's what Twitter did yesterday in hiring Adam Bain, formerly president of News Corp.'s Fox Audience Network, to head the company's revenue efforts.

But what does it all mean? Essentially, it means that Twitter's current attempts at building revenue models -- from Sponsored Tweets to things like @earlybird, a Twitter account that offers its followers deals from advertisers -- may have been just the warm up to generating real revenue. But after that, it gets fuzzy.

Bain, who is known for buildling a self-serve advertising model at FAN, may bring that, and other ways of making Twitter advertiser-friendly, with him. (However, it's interesting to note that his title assiduously avoids the "a" word.) But the company's recent rash of hires also suggests that Twitter wants to build relationships with advertisers, rather than just pointing them to a dashboard where they can buy a few keywords. Over the last few weeks, it's hired Brent Hill from Google, and recently signed Amanda Levy from Yelp, and Dan Coughlin from Facebook. The trio are heads of midwest, western and eastern sales, respectively. You don't hire regional sales directors unless you want serious advertiser face time. What will be pitched during those meetings, however, is anyone's guess.

(UPDATE: In fairness to Twitter, I probably should have pointed out in the headline that Twitter does have some revenue -- that fact is actually stated pretty clearly in the post itself. My point was that its revenue isn't entirely up to speed yet, in a way that's commensurate with its popularity.)