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Rumors fly about Twitter ad platform

Will the company be rolling out an ad strategy in conjunction with CEO Evan Williams' keynote at the South by Southwest Interactive festival? Who knows, but it's about time Twitter made some money.

It might finally be happening--no, really this time! According to Twitter head of product management Anamitra Banerji at an Interactive Advertising Bureau event on Tuesday (recapped by MediaPost), the company is finally seizing upon its status as the Web's hot spot for brands and marketers and is testing a formal advertising platform.

GigaOm's Mathew Ingram says he's heard Twitter "may" be launching that platform in conjunction with a host of both traditional and new media companies at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, the Austin, Texas confab where Twitter made its official debut in 2007. Which would make sense: Twitter CEO Evan Williams is keynoting at this year's SXSWi. A month later, Twitter will hold its first official developer conference, called "Chirp."

So far--in spite of round after round of venture capital, a valuation north of a billion dollars, and a snubbed buyout offer from Facebook--Twitter has not unveiled a concrete revenue strategy beyond search deals with the likes of Google and Microsoft. The company has hinted that long-term revenues might come from a "dashboard" of analytics for businesses, which was originally rumored to be launching before the end of 2009.

Twitter's executives, meanwhile, have vacillated on whether they'd want to institute an advertising strategy. About a year ago, co-founder Biz Stone said at a media conference that "there are a few reasons why we're not pursuing advertising--one is, it's just not quite as interesting to us."

Well, maybe things in the ad market have gotten a little bit spicier since then.