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eMarketer Lowers Growth Outlook for Twitter

Ad revenues and user numbers downgraded

March 17, 2016 | Media Buying | Social Media

Despite Twitter’s efforts to get more people to use the platform through features like Moments, user growth seems to have come to a near standstill. As a result, in its latest ad spending and usage forecasts, eMarketer has lowered its growth projections for Twitter’s ad revenues.

Twitter Ad Revenues Worldwide, 2014-2018 (billions and % change)

This year, eMarketer expects Twitter to generate $2.61 billion in worldwide ad revenues, smaller than the $2.95 eMarketer predicted in Q3 2015.

Twitter will generate nearly 90% of its revenues, or $2.32 billion worldwide, from mobile this year. That is an adjustment from $2.62 billion forecast in Q3.

“We have yet to see material monetization of logged-out users,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Martín Utreras. “Events like the US election and summer Olympics this year may prove pivotal to the success of this strategy.”

Net Digital Ad Revenue Share Worldwide, by Company, 2014-2016 (% of total and billions)

Twitter will have 291.0 million users worldwide in 2016. Nearly 57 million people in the US—30.6% of social network users, 21.4% of internet users and 17.5% of the population—will use Twitter at least once per month this year.

eMarketer has decreased its estimates of the number of US Twitter users ages 12 to 24 and 65 and older in the US based on new data. As a result, the total number of Twitter users has also been adjusted downward.

US Social Network Users and Penetration, 2014-2020 (millions and % of total social network users)

The rise of newer social services like Instagram and Snapchat, as well as the growing popularity of chat apps, has slowed Twitter uptake among younger social network users.

Twitter’s US user base is forecast to expand 8.0% this year, slightly slower growth compared with Pinterest and Tumblr, but will maintain significantly higher yearly growth rates compared with that of Facebook and the larger social networking audience through 2018.

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