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.