Twitter Ads to Grow Faster than Average Social Media Ad Spend Through 2015

A new report that forecasts the social media advertising market for the next four years places Twitter’s “non-display ads” (i.e. their promoted products) at the margins – but with a higher than average growth projection. If the numbers are true, you can expect to see rapid growth year over year in what advertisers are willing to spend for a Promoted Tweet.

BIA/Kelsey, an adviser to companies working with local social media, forecasts total social media ad spending to reach $8.3 billion by 2015. And, while Twitter’s ads might not make up the majority of this spending, they will certainly see massive growth over the next four years.

The firm projects that display ads – the standard ad that you see on Facebook’s sidebar, for instance – will make up the vast majority of this ad spending: $7.7 billion in 2015, up from $2.1 billion in 2010.

“Non-display ads”, which encompass Twitter’s Promoted Products and other non-typical advertising, will only make up $600 million by 2015, but that number is up from zero, according to BIA/Kelley, in 2010. This is a compound annual growth rate of 65%, and is much faster growing than the 30% annual growth rate that display ads will experience.

These numbers ring true if you consider similar figures released by eMarketer back in January. They predicted then that Twitter’s Promoted Products would explode from just $45 million in revenue in 2010 to $250 million in revenue by 2012. Doing a quick little calculation, I found that this is a projected compound annual growth rate of 135% – much higher than even the fast growth rate of the overall “non-display ad” market.

It looks like Twitter ads are poised to grow substantially in the coming years. And while they won’t make up the lion’s share of the total money spent on social networks any time soon, their growing popularity should be enough to entice marketers around the globe to include a Promoted Tweet along with a Facebook ad the next time they start a campaign.