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Last year, 262.0 million people around the world used Twitter on at least a monthly basis, eMarketer estimates. This year, the figure will rise to 291.0 million, and 2016 will be the last year of double-digit growth in users. The social network faces pressure to grow its audience quickly, however, to support a burgeoning ad business.
eMarketer estimated in September 2015 that globally, Twitter would take in $2.03 billion in digital ad revenues last year, up from $1.26 billion in 2014. Its share of the overall digital ad market went from 0.9% in 2014 to 1.2% in 2015.
We expected Twitter to continue growing its worldwide ad revenues at strong double-digit rates this year, and to reach $2.95 billion in ad revenues worldwide. A strong majority of those revenues—63%—will come from US.
Twitter was projected to capture a 9.0% share of social network ad spending this year. Facebook will capture the lion’s share worldwide—65.1%.
“Twitter’s ad revenues are still rising, and the introduction of new ad formats such as First View will help it capture more digital video ad dollars,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “But as user growth slows, it becomes more and more important to ask whether Twitter can continue to grow revenues in the event it can’t substantially increase its user base. I believe that it can.
“Twitter has many ways to make money outside of the core service. It has its ad network, and it is starting to show ads to people who visit Twitter pages without being logged in. Fixing the usage problems isn’t unimportant, but figuring out how to keep the revenue engine going even if usage doesn’t grow should be a major focus.”
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