Twitter eyes emerging markets

28 May 2014
NEW YORK: Twitter's global user base is forecast to increase by almost 25% in 2014, with the greatest growth likely to come in emerging markets, according to new eMarketer estimates.

From 227m users in 2014, the insights provider predicts that the microblogging site will reach 387m by 2018.

These figures are based on eMarketer's analysis of some 400 data points from more than 90 sources, including Twitter company releases, survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, internet and mobile adoption trends, and country-specific demographic and socioeconomic factors.

According to eMarketer, differences between the report and figures reported by Twitter can be explained by the "weeding out" of business accounts and multiple accounts for individual users.

North America's user share of 23.7% in 2014 is expected to decline to 19% in 2018, while that for Asia Pacific will grow from 32.8% to 40.1% over the same period. The latter figure excludes China, where Twitter is banned.

Figures for other regions show less dramatic changes: Western Europe's share dips from 16.8% to 14.2%, while Latin America's share is projected to slide from 12.3% to 11.2%.

A slight increase in share is anticipated for the two remaining regions, with Central and Eastern Europe edging up from 7.3% to 7.6% and the Middle East and Africa from 7.2% to 7.9%.

The fastest and most consistent growth rates, according to eMarketer, will come in India and Indonesia, up 61.7% and 56.9% respectively in 2014, slowing to 18.1% and 21.6% by 2018.

And, while large growth rates can often be a consequence of a small user base, eMarketer noted that this was hardly the case here, as these two countries would have the third- and fourth-largest Twitter populations in the world in 2014, at 18.1m and 15.3m users respectively.

"Twitter's international opportunity is something that is really just starting to be explored," Deborah Aho-Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer, told the Financial Times. "India, Indonesia and Japan are all becoming much more prominent, much more rapidly than the US and the UK."

Other fast-growing markets in 2014 included Argentina (+44.5%), Mexico (+39%), Brazil (+37.5%) and Russia (+31.4%).

Data sourced from eMarketer, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff
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