May 28, 2014
Twitter’s User Base Expected To Grow To 400M Within Four Years
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A lot of people might have a little to say in just four years. According to a new report from eMarketer released this week, micro-blog service Twitter could see its user base increase 24.4 percent in 2014, while the social media property's user growth could continue with double-digit gains through 2018.
With this growth up to 400 million people globally could be sending out 140 character tweets – and most of the growth will come from Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. However, even with this growth it appears that Twitter will fall short of the one billion users that were expected.
There are a few factors to consider.
"From a regional standpoint, eMarketer estimates that the number of Twitter users in Asia-Pacific has already eclipsed those in North America and Western Europe by a wide margin—even considering that our figures exclude China due to the country's ban on the site," noted the digital advertising industry research firm on its website on Tuesday.
The fact that China has banned the social media service does of course limit Twitter's potential, but the study also found that by 2018 Twitter's key markets of the United States and Japan could see steady declines to 6.4 and 6.1 percent, respectively.
However, the United States still accounts for three-quarters of Twitter's revenue – yet the firm has been unable to turn a profit.
"Once championed by its Silicon Valley boosters as 'the next Facebook,' capable of reaching more than 1 billion users, Twitter has instead grappled with stagnant user growth in its first two quarters as a public company, with its stock trading near its post-IPO low," Reuters reported this week.
This could be offset by growth in emerging markets.
"Growth for Twitter is heavily weighted in emerging markets. India and Indonesia will see the most consistent growth patterns throughout our forecast period, both experiencing increases well above 50 percent this year," added eMarketer. "Large growth rates frequently reflect a small installed base, but not in the cases of these two countries: India and Indonesia will rise to have the third- and fourth-largest Twitter populations in the world in 2014, with 18.1 million and 15.3 million users, respectively—both surpassing the UK for the first time this year for the number of users. With a sizeable internet user population, the growth potential in each of these countries remains significant for the foreseeable future."
Twitter's potential in India was felt in the country's recent elections.
"Other than any other movement, elections provide a great microcosm for the value Twitter can add. We’re widely sharing the experience of Indian election with the world," Rishi Jaitly, market director, Twitter – India, told iTvoir.com.
"Twitter's international opportunity is something that is really just starting to be explored," Debra 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."
Twitter could also see 60 percent growth in India this year, but the bigger nut to crack could still remain China – where both Twitter and Facebook are currently banned.
Reuters reported that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo visited China in March to meet with government officials, but in the end the company dismissed any likelihood of launching operations there whilst the Chinese state media even downplayed the visit.