Twitter advertising revenues to hit $139m trebling in 2011

With news that Twitter was last week was rolling out its first Promoted Trends campaign in the UK with Sky, following the news earlier in the summer that it planned to roll out Promoted Tweets in users timelines, many have been wondering how much this will all ad up to in terms of revenues?

Well the answer is in according to a report from eMarketer which is projecting that Twitter’s global advertising revenues will treble in 2011 to an estimated $139.5m up from $45m last year.

Going forward eMarketer says Twitter’s ad revenues could rise to $260m in 2012 and $400m in 2013.

The report also said that average engagement with Twitter’s Promoted Tweets is 3% to 5% and that 98% of Twitter’s ad revenues are generated in the US with the gap expected to close somewhat as Twitter expands internationally.

However, the projection for 2011 falls short of eMarketer’s earlier prediction made in January, which was set at $150m.

The numbers are still relatively small and even more so if you compare them with Facebook. Earlier this month Brand Republic reported that Facebook’s first half year revenue had almost doubled to $1.6bn (£1bn). In January Facebook’s ad revenues were reported to have hit $1.86bn in 2010 having more than doubled from 2009’s $700m.

eMarketer says the difference between its January projection and the one it is issuing this week is down to a slower than expected roll out of international offices.

Twitter, of course, went some way to correcting that this week when it announced it was opening an office in Dublin where it will have its international headquarters.

The office in the Irish capital is only Twitter’s third international office. It joins London and Tokyo.

Principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson told Ad Age that she thought Twitter’s ads could balloon if it could get the self service ad model right as Facebook and Google have done.

“Self-service is extremely successful for Facebook and Google. So self-serve could really open up Twitter to a new category of advertisers that aren’t currently using the service,” she said.