Advertising on social media is a tricky business. There are websites that ask people to give out some of their most personal information, and that means that they have to be trusted. It becomes hard not to feel like that trust is being broken when users are inundated with advertisements.
Twitter, though, seems to have figured something out, as the social network is now being projected to grow revenue by 63% to nearly $1 billion in advertising sales by 2014, according to a new report from market researcher eMarketer Wednesday.
More importantly, more than half of the networks ad revenue, roughly 53%, is projected to come from mobile this year, and that number is expected to top 60% by 2015. The report estimates that Twitter will earn $308.9 million in mobile ad revenue in 2013, more than double the mobile ad revenue of $138.4 million the year prior.
That is pretty impressive considering that, just two years ago, Twitter had almost no ad revenue from mobile at all.
By 2015, Twitter is expected to pull in $1.33 billion in worldwide ad revenue. In September, eMarketer had projected that the network would take in $807.5 million in 2014, but has now revised that number to $950 million.
Mobile advertising will be the saving grace for social networks, if Facebook is any indication.
Facebook introduced mobile ads for apps, which allow app developers to advertise on News Feeds on Facebook’s mobile app, in August. These ads were so successful that, at the end of last year, eMarketer revised its projections for mobile ad spending in the U.S. up to $4 billion, based on the performance of Facebook’s these ads.
The success of these ads have not only driven up total ad spending, they have opened mobile up for other networks, like Twitter.
"eMarketer believes Twitter has ultimately benefited from the increased focus on mobile by competitors like Google and Facebook, which have both expanded their own mobile ad offerings and worked to convince advertisers to shift dollars to mobile devices," eMarketer wrote.
The report also points to the launch of Twitter's Ads API as a major contributing factor to growth for the social network, for this year and beyond.
Last month, Twitter debuted a new API is designed make it easier for brands to manage campaigns and get more value out of advertising on Twitter, by allowing them to integrate with its ads platform through a list of API partners that will supply them with better targeting and tools. The first five of these partners were HootSuite, Adobe, Saleforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital.
The point of the API, Twitter said at the time, is not to create more advertising, but to make advertising on the network better overall.
As for where Twitter will be generating revenue, it still is highly reliant on the United States, with 83% of its ad revenue expected to come from the U.S. in 2013. That is down from 90% in 2012, and foreign ad revenue is expected to continue to rise. By 2015, it is projected to be $319 million, compared to under $100 million in 2013.
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