It seems like it was only yesterday that all the analysts were saying that Twitter was doomed because it couldn’t make money. But times have changed: research firm eMarketer says the social networking service could bring in $150 million this year, and $250 million in 2012. Those numbers would be a significant increase over the estimated $45 million in ad revenues this past year.
One of Twitter’s challenges was figuring out how it to monetize the service without cluttering its users’ timelines with ads. Thus it has gone a different route through “promoted” tweets, which it introduced in April of last year. And while the company hasn’t provided too many details, it looks like it’s seriously considering other money-generating strategies as well.
eMarketer seems to think so too, saying the tripling of ad revenues will have a lot to do with a self-service ad feature that the firm expects to be launched in 2011. Other companies such as Microsoft and Google have built siginficant advertising business, supported in large part by the self-service platforms both companies have built and maintained.
Advertising was something that I think we all knew was eventually going to come to Twitter. A company can grow at Twitter’s astronomical rate only so long without a solid source of revenue. Let’s just hope whatever it decides to do is not disruptive to the user experience.
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