Updated from 10:35 a.m. to include information about advertising new deal with Omnicom.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) Twitter (TWTR) has had its fair share of problems getting additional users in the U.S., since most see it as a niche service and not something for the everyday Internet user. That's not likely to be the case around the world, though.
According to a new report from eMarketer, more than 40% of Twitter's user base will be in Asia-Pacific by 2018, as international users continue to flock to the service. The research firm noted that Twitter's overall user base will grow 24.4% in 2014. Twitter currently has more than 255 million monthly active users (MAUs) and growing. "The social media property's user growth will continue with double-digit gains through 2018, eMarketer estimates, and there are significant opportunities for Twitter to increase its audience across emerging markets," eMarketer said in an emailed release.
It appears though as if Twitter's user base in North America is slowing, having added just 3 million users in the first-quarter, totaling 57 million users. However, the company is seeing better growth internationally, having added 11 million users internationally, for a total of 242 million outside the U.S. "From a regional standpoint, eMarketer estimates that the number of Twitter users in Asia-Pacific has already eclipsed North America and Western Europe by a wide margin -- even considering that our figures exclude China due to the country's ban on the site," eMarketer said in the email.
For the first quarter, Twitter posted breakeven results on $250.49 million in revenue, as advertising revenue surged 125% year over year to $226 million. The company said mobile advertising revenue was approximately 80% of total advertising revenue, while data licensing and other revenue totaled $24 million, an increase of 76% year-over-year.
The company reached 198 million mobile monthly active users (MAUs) during the quarter, up 31% year-over-year. Timeline views reached 157 billion for the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 15% year-over-year, and advertising revenue per thousand timeline views reached $1.44 in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 96% year-over-year. Though the company surpassed 255 million MAUs, up 25% year-over-year, the growth is slowing down. In the fourth-quarter of 2013, MAUs grew 30% year over year.
The research firm notes that for this year, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 32.8% of all Twitter users. The U.S. will account for 23.7% of all Twitter users. This excludes China, where Twitter is currently banned. However, if Twitter, which already has a competitor in China with Weibo (WB), is allowed in China, than the user base in the Asia-Pacific region will be much higher.
In 2018, eMarketer projects Twitter will grow more than 10% to reach nearly 400 million users globally.
The research comes as Omnicom and Twitter announced a mobile ad deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.The deal will bring Omnicom's programmatic unit and integrate it with Twitter's ad exchange MoPub.
Despite CEO Dick Costolo's best efforts to make Twitter a more mainstream service in the U.S., something Facebook (FB) has already achieved, it's clear that Twitter's growth is going to come from international markets, with India and Indonesia seeing the most "consistent increases of Twitter users throughout our forecast period, both experiencing well above 50% growth this year." According to eMarketer, those two countries will have the third and fourth-largest user base in 2015, with 18.1 million and 15.3 million users, respectively.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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