Twitter plans ad push

22 June 2012

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter, the microblogging platform, is expanding the reach of its advertising services around the world, as it seeks to drive up revenues.

The advertising tools offered by Twitter are due to be rolled out in 50 countries across the globe, as the social media property attempts to broaden its income base beyond the US.

While not disclosing the full list of markets which will make this list, several Latin American nations, including Brazil, and Western European states like Germany and Spain, are set to feature.

"There is a tonne of demand but we don't have dates as yet," said Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, the Guardian reported. "That is one of the great things of being private; I don't have to discuss these things."

According to sources quoted by Bloomberg, Twitter expects ad sales to hit $1bn by 2014, its eighth year of activity. Estimates from eMarketer, the research firm, pegged this figure at a more modest $540m.

Twitter was founded in 2006, and first launched online advertising tools – in the form of promoted tweets, trends and accounts – in 2010, and has also now moved into the mobile space.

By way of comparison, Google generated $1bn in revenues five years after it started trading, while Facebook took six years to achieve the same level, and secured $3.2bn from this route in 2011.

At present, Twitter has 140m members, together posting 400m tweets per day. New user uptake rates remain rapid, and some 60% of its audience log on via mobile phones, Costolo revealed.

"Growth is still broad-based and global," he said. "We are still growing quite fast month on month in the UK, Mexico, Spain, Italy, France … Saudi Arabia is our fastest-growing market percentage-wise month on month."

Facebook has been subjected to substantial questioning about monetisation following its IPO and when General Motors, the carmaker, announced it will stop using ads on the site.

Jack Dorsey, a founder of Twitter, added that the microblog, which is privately held, retains an advantage of not being forced to follow a strategic path dictated by external forces.

"The company has always put itself in a position to choose when it is ready," he said. "We do things when we are ready. We have a good understanding about pacing and have the discipline to make the choices ourselves."

Data sourced from Business Week/The Guaridan; additional content by Warc staff