Twitter Has An International Advertising Problem

With Twitter’s IPO just around the corner, there’s plenty of scrutiny of the company’s numbers – particularly its revenue. And recent numbers pulled from its regulatory filings show a few holes in the 140-character network’s ad sales.

The New York Times dug into Twitter’s data this week, and uncovered a startling fact: while the company might be earning some decent revenue at home, they’re struggling abroad.

Here’s the problem:

Over three quarters of the 232 million Twitter users live outside the United States. But Twitter doesn’t even come close to earning three quarters of its ad revenue from abroad… it’s more like 26 percent. And while this shows an improvement over 17 percent from last year, it’s not yet on par with numbers from the US.

Twitter hasn’t been able to monetize its international userbase as effectively as it has done within the US. That might not come as a big surprise to anyone who follows the company, which is notorious for rolling out updates – both for users and for its advertising partners – slowly and with long trial periods.

As we reported earlier, Twitter does have a strong foothold when it comes to mobile users, which could be an appealing draw for international advertisers who are currently wary of signing on for 140-characters-at-a-time ad spends. If they’re skeptical that Twitter can reach their target audience, they’ll likely hold back – but if they see that Twitter is the go-to network for mobile users not just in the US but around the world, it might bolster confidence.

(Global network image via Shutterstock)