Twitter has passed 200 million active users!

Steven Loeb · December 18, 2012 · Short URL:

Social network has seen healthy user base and ad revenue growth, despite rocky year

(Updated to reflect comment from Twitter)

Twitter announced a new milestone Tuesday, tweeting (of course) that it has now passed 200 million active users, and thanking its users for making it happen.

What is more impressive is that in March, as the social network celebrated its sixth birthday, it announced that it had 140 million users, sending out 340 million tweets per day. That means in just nine months it has seen its user base grow by 60 million, or around 42%.

Impressive. Most impressive.

Of course, Twitter has a long, long way to go if it ever wants to beat Facebook, which has over a billion active users, but I don’t want to take away from its accomplishment. Twitter is the second most popular social network, doubling the number of active users Google+ announced in September.

According to an eMarketer report Monday, Twitter has the third largest U.S. net mobile ad revenue, with $134.9 million, and a 3.5% share. And that is without having any mobile ad revenue at all in 2011.

Twitter's total ad revenue from 2011 was $139.5 million, and in June Twitter projected that it would see $1 billion in ad revenue by 2014.

Twitter’s roller coaster year

While Twitter has been able to grow its user base and revenue nicely in the past 12 months, things have not always gone smoothly.

There was Twitter's new API, which put more restrictions on third party developers. It made it so that applications that have more than at least 100,000 users will have to work directly with Twitter on their product, policies and service agreement. Those that already have more than 100,000 user can only grow to 200% of their current size before they will contact Twitter. The decision was controversial, to say the least.

Then there was the social network's war with Instagram, which resulted in Instagram's photo's being pulled completely off of Twitter. The war may have started with Instagram backing out of a verbal agreement to be bought by Twitter for $525 million in March, weeks before it was purchased by Facebook. 

But things were not all bad for Twitter in 2012.

Barack Obama's reelection in November saw three records broken in one night: Election Night 2012 had the most Tweets per minute,  the most retweeted Tweet, and it became the most Tweeted about event in U.S. political history.

As it was announced that the President had emerged victorious, Twitter set a new record of 327,452 Tweets per minute, shattering the previous record of 116,000 TPM set by the Spice Girls during this summer’s London Olympics.

Obama also now has the most retweeted tweet of all time, with a photograph that he put up right before going out to give his victory speech, of him hugging his wife. The photo has been retweeted over 810,000 times, and favorited over 300,000 times.

Twitter also also added some pretty big names to its roster this year, including Steve CarellMatt LauerChelsea ClintonNiel YoungBrett FavreVP candidate Paul Ryan and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

And, of course, The Pope, who gained nearly 200,000 followers within hours of joining earlier this month. His English account alone now has 1,223,647 followers

The Pope's first Tweet, send out on December 12, has been retweeted over 62,000 times, and favorited over 23,000 times.

A Twitter spokesperson had no further comment on the news.

(Image source:

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