Twitter’s path to profitability lies in charging for mobile use, according to one of its venture capital investors. In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Joi Ito – chief executive of Creative Commons – said that mobile was likely to become an increasingly important focus for the social-networking trailblazer. “I will say that mobile is globally one of the areas that has significant growth in revenue for a lot of [industry] players,” Ito said. “I think mobile will be an important part of [Twitter’s] strategy.” He said that Twitter could generate revenue from mobile by possibly charging either the networks that see traffic grow from its use, or the users that access it on their phones. “If you have a clear value [to the user and network], you may experiment and find out that one way of collecting money is going to work better than another,” he said. “If you have the users and the traffic, you can experiment and iterate and usually figure out a way to make some money.”

Ito’s comments come at a time when Twitter is reportedly under pressure to communicate to investors how it plans to generate revenue from its vast user base. Rumours are circulating that the company is about to close another round of funding that could value it at more than US$1 billion. “Yes, there is that rumour,” Ito said. “I can’t really say if it’s true. I can’t speak on behalf of Twitter. It’s possible.” But when asked whether he was worried if Twitter might run out of cash before it can find a way to generate revenue, he said. “There are very few companies that have gotten to the scale that Twitter has, with the cash that they’ll have, that have come to zero.”