Posted September 29, 2011 2:46 pm by with 2 comments

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Yesterday, we took a look at the general state of affairs in online advertising and from a revenue perspective, it’s was all, up, up, up. Today, eMarketer has numbers on Twitter alone and it’s right on trend with the rest of the market.

eMarketer predicts that Twitter will pull in $139.5 million in global ad revenues this year. That’s an increase of 210% over last year. Not bad, huh? The prediction for 2013? $400 million.

What’s amazing about Twitter’s ad success is that it’s been incorporated into the site in a very unobtrusive way. The ads are there in my stream, and I notice them, but they don’t bother me. Occasionally, I even click on one. This is not the case with Facebook.

The way I see it, Twitter ads blend better. They’re more relevant and, often, they look just like any other piece of Twitter content. Maybe this is because a lot of the people I follow are always pitching their own products and services so ads and regular tweets are all the same to me. A paid tweet for a new DVD at the top of my stream is just as effective as a non-paid DVD announcement for a new Warner Archive release. The only difference is the paid tweet stays on top where I might miss the Warner tweet if I’m not vigilant. I guess that’s a perk worth the price if you can afford it.

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The opposite side of this coin are Facebook ads which always look cheap to me. Today I was served up ads for a local dentist, a local apartment rental and “buy text links!” Not interested. Not clicking.

The next steps for Twitter include broadening their horizons internationally and installing a self-serve system. Both of these should go a long way toward opening up the gates and allowing a wider variety of businesses to buy ads.

eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson says,

“Twitter is looking to compete for the same advertisers that made Google and Facebook’s self-serve advertising platforms smash hits. Self-serve advertising accounts for about 60% of Facebook’s ad revenue—that’s a pinnacle Twitter will hope to reach as well.”

Here’s hoping that lowering the entrance bar, won’t knock Twitter’s current ad to non-ad ratio out of balance because right now, they’ve got it just right.

  • Twitter ads blend better.

  • Twitter ads are completely unobstrusive. I know where they are at, and they’re completely blatant. But I love that you can opt out of it, and it won’t bug you while you troll through your timeline.