Twitter has been slow to expand its advertising products, which is part of the reason why eMarketer has adjusted its forecast for the company’s 2011 advertising revenue. Projected to be $150 million in January of this year, the recent report suggests that the actual 2011 ad earnings will be closer to $150 million.
But eMarketer isn’t necessarily bleak about Twitter’s future. Indeed, the digital intelligence company projects that Twitter will reach $400 million in ad revenue by 2013.
Twitter is currently selling advertising products, including Promoted Tweets, Accounts and Trends, to a select group of beta advertisers who have signed up early. The company has yet to launch its rumored self-serve platform, which would allow small and medium-sized businesses to purchase Promoted Products by bidding on keywords in a style similar to Google Ads.
The slow roll-out of this self-serve platform has contributed to the lower-than-expected ad earnings. The other factor that eMarketer cites as lowering their assessment of Twitter’s 2011 ad earnings is their late decision to launch an international headquarters for their advertising products.
eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson explains that, despite the low inventory, marketers are very interested in advertising on Twitter:
“Since their debut in April 2010, Twitter’s Promoted Products have proven successful in the US. Marketers have shown solid engagement rates with Twitter advertising—in some cases better than those on Facebook—despite Twitter’s relatively smaller audience.”
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