With Facebook looking considerably weaker after its disastrous IPO, could there possibly be an opening for another social network to swoop in and take its crown? While that possibility doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon, new projections by Twitter could make it a bigger competitor to Facebook than it had ever been previously.
Ad sales make up nearly all of Twitter’s revenue, which was $139.5 million last year, according to eMarketer. Analysts had originally forecasted that Twitter would be generating around $500 million by 2014, around half of what is now being projected.
Twitter, which currently has around 140 million users, recently expanded its advertising base, allowing more localized advertising on their self-service platform.
In March, Twitter teamed up with American Express to give exclusive discounts to people that message about the certain companies, including Whole Foods, H&M, Virgin America, FedEx and Cheesecake Factory. The users get discounts when they use their Amex card that they have synced up to their Twitter account.
For example, a user who has their American Express card synced to their Twitter might use a hashtag involving the Cheesecake Factory. Then, when they use their card at the restaurant, they will get a discount when they make a minimum purchase.
While big businesses were the first to be included in the program, Twitter said that they were planning to expand to smaller, local businesses as well.
Twitter is expanding this program internationally, and that is a big source of the projected revenue that the company is expecting in the next few years.
How does Twitter compare?
If the projections hold up, it will have taken eight years for Twitter to reach $1 billion in advertising revenue, behind both Facebook and Google.
Google hit the number in five years, and made over $10 billion in advertising revenue in the first quarter of this year.
Facebook took six years, generating over $3 billion in revenue in 2011, of which 85% was from advertising, according to their S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year.
Twitter’s new revenue forecast is hardly set in stone, and they company might miss their target, the sources told Bloomberg.
(Image source: blog.hudsonhorizons.com)