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With the company reporting earnings next week, all eyes are on Twitter’s ability to grow its user base, a necessary prerequisite to growing revenues at the social network. eMarketer estimates that worldwide, user growth of 10.9% this year will bring Twitter’s monthly active population to 286.3 million by the end of this year.
That comes on top of 9.8% growth in 2015, with rates expected to taper in coming years as Twitter’s global user base approaches 370 million by the end of eMarketer’s forecast period.
“When news happens, it happens on Twitter, keeping the platform highly relevant as a real-time communications medium during news and cultural events,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “As it ramps up live streaming, Twitter is aiming to be just as relevant when it comes to live video. Both will help Twitter to continue to grow its user base, although it is increasingly being overshadowed by other players, such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, especially among younger users.”
Just under one in five Twitter users this year are in the US, a share that’s falling slightly. Brazil is currently home to the second-largest Twitter population in the world, with 27.7 million users, followed by Japan (25.9 million) and Mexico (23.5 million). Above-average growth in India will bring that country to second place in 2019, tied with Brazil—which it will outrun the following year when India will account for 9.6% of the world’s Twitter users.
The US accounts for an outsize amount of Twitter’s ad revenues, however, at 63.1% this year. Overall, Twitter will net $2.61 billion in total digital ad revenues worldwide in 2016, eMarketer forecasts. That will translate to 1.4% of the worldwide digital ad market.
Within the realm of social network ad revenues, Twitter will grab 7.9% globally this year. Facebook dominates this space, with a predicted 67.9% in social network ad revenues this year.
Most of Twitter’s ad revenues are mobile: 88.9% this year.
“Like Facebook, Twitter has been successful in mobile advertising,” said Williamson. “That strength, along with new revenues from ads in live video, will help Twitter continue to increase its revenues.”
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