Twitter Ad Revenue Surge Predicted

Still fumbling for a revenue model that’ll succesfully turn its enormous popularity into cold hard cash, Twitter has gotten much more aggressive with its advertising model over the past year.

Now, some experts are predicting that the company “may triple its advertising revenue to $150 million in 2011 as more companies turn to the growing social media website to market their products,” reports the Los Angeles Times via a report from EMarketer Inc. The same report states that Twitter ad sales could reach $250 million by the end of 2012.

Big business…
Kicked off just under a year ago, Twitter’s advertising program has successfully convinced big brands like Pepsi, Disney and Starbucks to spend big bucks marketing on the site.

… and Small
And, according to a recent report, small businesses are following suit, at a surprising rate: It was recently reported by eMarketer that small business use of the popular social networking site doubled last year.

“Twitter was still behind many other social media tactics, with nearly half (48%) of respondents using Facebook for marketing and a quarter using some other social network,” the article adds.

Facebook still dominant
Last year, Facebook’s ad numbers were about $1.8 billion; Twitter’s $45 million ad revenue for the same year seems paltry by comparison. But it should be noted that advertising on Twitter was only begun a third of the way through the year.

Still, that’s an impressive showing for a site that’s much newer — and more unique — than Facebook. Whether or not it’s a long-term trend remains to be seen, but it should be noted that initial dismissals of Twitter as just another fad seem to be pretty off-target so far.

And, while Twitter’s nowhere near Facebook in ad revenue numbers now, it is expected to pass MySpace by 2012, the L.A. Times article adds … for what that’s worth.