Early this year, eMarketer predicted that social media giants like Facebook and Twitter will see their ad revenues ascend. Their today’s prediction is that in 2011, 132.5 million U.S internet users will use the social network monthly. As for Twitter, the number of international users will increase more than that of domestic users.
The increase in number of Facebook users is estimated by eMarketer to be 13.4 percent. In 2010, the number of Facebook users was 116.8 million which 38.6 percent higher than that of 2009. The projected percentage increase in 2011, though less than last year, will help Facebook reach 9 out of every 10 social network users and 57.1 percent of all internet users in United States. And that’s not all, with the projected surge, Facebook will reach to 42.3% of total U.S. population in 2010.
eMarketer’s report shows that over the next years, the increase in percentage of users for Facebook will be in single digits. The projected percentage increase for 2012 and 2013 will be 8.2 and 6.1 respectively. Yet, by 2013 Facebook will be used by almost 50 percent of the U.S. population. The report also states that the data on which the projection is based, are esoteric. Survey data and visitor statistics obtained from different analytics and a meta analysis of them resulted in the estimation. It also included U.S internet users, who don’t restrict themselves in desktop computers or laptops and access Facebook from other devices like smartphones as well.
Although Twitter saw phenomenal growth in 2009 with an increase of 293.1 percent, 2010 was not as good and saw only 24 percent growth. Only 9 percent of total internet users in United States tweeted throughout 2010 and in this year, it’s going to be 11 percent. Although Twitter is expected to grow this year at 26.3 percent, 2012 and 2013 won’t be that good as its growth rate will constantly dip to 16.7 and 14.8 percent respectively. Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer said, “eMarketer’s new Twitter usage estimates are lower than our April 2010 forecast. Since then, Twitter has continued to gain traction but at more moderate levels than we had expected.”
Facebook has over 600 million users and according to Mark Zuckerberg, 250 million users log into the site everyday. Facebook is mostly popular for its Photos, Places, Groups, Messages and also for its third-party apps. These make up the entire Facebook experience. On the contrary, Twitter is mostly used by its power users who account for only 21 percent of the total 175 million user base are active while 22.5% of users are responsible for 90% of all tweets. Twitter is expected to see more growth in the emerging markets than in the U.S.
Verna points out, “eMarketer’s estimate of the US Facebook and Twitter populations presents a realistic assessment of actual usage, in contrast with widely publicized data that track numbers of user accounts, site traffic or other metrics that don’t fully reflect usage.” Time will tell how realistic this assessment is, but it sounds definitely telling as they are based on methodical analysis of data.