Twitter growing in Asia, slowing in US

Despite a relatively successful IPO last year, Twitter has been dogged in recent months by concerns that its once rapid growth rate is slowing. A new report from research firm eMarketer underscores that concern, at least for the United States and Europe, while projecting the service will continue to gain popularity in Asia.

Overall, eMarketer projects Twitter’s active users will increase by 24 percent this year, with rapid growth in Asia balancing slower increases in the United States.  But that’s down from 30 percent last year and almost 50 percent the year before.

The firm estimates Twitter ended 2013 with 182 million monthly active users; that’s lower than Twitter’s official figures of 241 million, but eMarketer says it uses survey data to weed out duplicate accounts and other errors.

The Asia Pacific region already accounts for the largest share, or about 33 percent, of Twitter’s active users, compared with about 24 percent in North America, the report estimates.

eMarketer says Twitter’s U.S. growth rate will slow from just under 20 percent last year to 11.5 percent this year and fall to single digits, or 9.1 percent, by 2015. By contrast, the firm projects 44.5 percent growth next year in Indonesia, already the fourth-biggest market for the micro-blogging service, and 36.5 percent growth in India, which is already the third-biggest.

Those numbers suggest Twitter will need to pay a lot more attention to its advertising business outside the United States in coming years. Right now, eMarketer estimates Twitter’s U.S. user base accounted for nearly 75 percent of the company’s ad revenue last year.

Twitter announced a new mobile advertising deal this week with the giant ad agency Omnicom, which the Wall Street Journal estimated would bring $230 million in revenue over the next two years. No word on where those ads will be seen.

(Graphic from eMarketer)





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