Attracting people was never a problem for Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR), which currently boasts more than 250 million active monthly users. But transforming the micro-blogging site's popularity into revenue is still a challenge. E-commerce may be answer. In buying payments service CardSpring Inc., Twitter hopes to encourage users to shop in "real time." Many strategic buyers are also snapping up e-commerce technology startups. 

By bringing real-time shopping into tweeting, Twitter is testing how innovative social media can be, hoping advertisers see how ad space influences consumer behavior. With CardSpring, retailers can offer online shoppers coupons that they can automatically sync to their credit cards in order to receive discounts when they shop in physical stores.

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