Twitter’s ad business is growing so fast, it’s hard for social news adherents like ourselves to keep up.
Digital media and commerce authority eMarketer has raised revenue estimates for the microblog dramatically, and for the second time in six months. Twitter’s continuing growth and a rising demand for mobile ad space has pushed the network’s revenue forecast to $950 million in 2014. The following year, Twitter is projected to break $1.33 billion.
Right now, Twitter’s earnings for 2013 are projected to be around $582.8 million, meaning that revenues will effectively double in two years.
Previously, eMarketer had Twitter’s 2014 earnings pegged at $540 million. That estimate was revised in September to $807.5 million. With Twitter IPO still slated for next year (and maybe sooner), some sources have estimated that the site will close the billion-dollar-gap even quicker, maybe even in time for offering.
And who knows? Maybe another eMarketer revision in six months will reflect the bolder estimates.
Though the revenue estimates are undoubtedly good news for Twitter, Forbes questions how they’ll make such meteoric returns without compromising its ad space commitments.
Jeff Bercovici writes:
“One question is how high Twitter can push its numbers without watering down its commitment to selling only ad units that feel native to its ecosystem. Facebook has been drifting farther and farther from its mission of using the social graph to revolutionize advertising.
“As Peter Kafka notes, Facebook’s newest ad products, which let marketers retarget customers on the site via non-social ad units, are the opposite of innovative. But even stooping to methods it had previously denigrated, Facebook has managed to post only inconsistent growth, with eMarketer downgrading its revenue forecasts by $1 billion last August.”
Indeed, Facebook’s advertising and earnings faux pas may serve as a cautionary tale when it comes to the rapid, directionless growth of a social network like Twitter. But I think they probably have a few people in charge who know how to read.