Twitter Hopes To Reach 1 Billion Users

Iohana Georgescu

Written by Iohana Georgescu
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Twitter is now the world's third largest social network

With Facebook as good proof of how many members you can gather if you offer exciting, potentially addictive services, Twitter, the third largest social networking site aims to considerably boost its member numbers and reach 1 billion. The sites aim to do this in order to be able to compete with Facebook in attracting advertisers. We all know that ads are worth their money most on sites where that the vast majority of Internet users visit, hence, Facebook, Google and Twitter. The latter has recently focused on adding a couple of new, advertiser attractive features.

“Twitter will get to a billion members,” Evan Williams, Twitter’s co-founder and former chief executive officer, said in San Francisco yesterday according to Bloomberg. We’ve heard that Facebook has set exactly the same goal. Last time we checked the world’s largest social network had a bit over 500 million users. While it’s clear that Williams has set this goal in mind, he didn’t mention how long he thinks the site would require to reach it.  Twitter now has roughly 165 million, so you could say it’s pretty far from that 1 billion target Williams is envisioning.

Those 165 million users are pretty active though. The site is said to be the home of 100 million short messages sent every single day. Because things are going quite well, Twitter now wants to seek more advertisers, after a successful trial with well-known brands like Coca-Cola, ESPN or Starbucks. The test started this year and it also included major movie studios, Nike and Best Buy ads which were all displayed near the site’s search results as well as close to the most popular topics on the right side of the page.

So what’s the next step? Going after Facebook, of course. As I’ve mentioned before, Facebook has already managed to secure 500 million users and the company’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg is pretty sure that hitting one billion members is “almost a guarantee”. 1 billion people are quite a lot and would represent 15 percent of the world’s population. Advertisers who choose to post ads on the social network could grab the attention of more people than fit in a whole country. I guess that’s why, Facebook is currently the best site to do business with if you’re trying to advertise something. Twitter is interested in reaching the same level. For the time being, the site ranks third globally, having recently managed to surpass MySpace.

Twitter’s Williams has also mentioned that the company has plans for offering an advertising service to small businesses on the site on top of the ads it provides for bigger brands. Just to get a better idea why Twitter is so interested in catching various advertisers, big and small, a recently released study shows that online advertising is doing quite well in the US. Businesses and individuals have spend nearly 12.1 billion on online ads in the first six month of this year alone. This sum has grown by 11.3 percent compared to the one from the first half of 2009.11

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