Twitter advertising revenue set to hit $150m – so still a minnow but a threatening one

Twitter, which began selling ads in April last year, will triple its advertising revenue to $150m in 2011 and is heading for $250m in 2012 according to a new study by researcher eMarketer.

That puts it way behind social network rival Facebook, which is forecast to hit $4bn in 2011 and Google’s $7bn or so today (although most of Google’s is still search).

But with a number of blue chip advertisers including Hewlett-Packard, Nissan and Starbucks appearing regularly on the site Twitter has clearly made a big impact in a short time on an advertising community which is becoming more adept at communicating through social networks.

Clearly the company has found a business model that’s capable of turning its estimated 175m users into revenue and ultimately profits. Accordingly the site, founded in 2006, is now valued at $3.7bn (compared to Facebook’s $54bn and Google’s $202bn) on the basis of its last $200m round of fund raising.

The next big challenge for the company is the US where only eight per cent of internet users access Twitter.

New CNN prime time interview host Piers Morgan from the UK is a devoted Tweeter. If you believe Morgan’s own publicity he alone should be able to boost Twitter use in the US substantially.

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About Angie Dean