Twitter Is Getting Bigger in Asia Amid Decelerating User Growth

As Twitter Inc. (TWTR) struggles to add new users as quickly as it used to, researcher EMarketer Inc. is adding an ominous prediction to the mix: Percentage growth in the U.S. will slow to the single digits by next year.

Yet there’s a positive side to the data -- Asia. While the number of Twitter users in the U.S. is expected to grow 12 percent this year, EMarketer projects an increase of 34 percent in Asia. By 2018, growth in the region is estimated to slow to 15 percent, though that would still outpace the worldwide average growth of 11 percent, Bloomberg.com reported on its Global Tech blog.

The number of the microblogging service’s users in the Asia-Pacific region already eclipses those in North America and Western Europe. And Asia’s percentage of all Twitter users will only get bigger.

India, Twitter’s third-biggest market, is expected to grow 57 percent this year, while Indonesia, the fourth-biggest, will grow 62 percent, according to EMarketer. The researchers don’t even include data from China, where the service is blocked by the government, though some people access it anyway. Japan, Twitter’s second-biggest market, is estimated to increase 17 percent this year.

Given where it’s adding users, Twitter needs to start making more money outside the U.S., EMarketer said. The San Francisco-based company is still working to expand its sales effort overseas, first by turning on access to its self-serve advertising product, Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo said in a conference call with investors last month.

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People outside the U.S. accounted for 78 percent of Twitter’s active users in the first quarter, yet only 28 percent of its revenue was from international sources, according to the company.

Meanwhile, total user growth has been slowing. Last month, Twitter said membership in the first quarter rose 25 percent from a year earlier to 255 million, decelerating from 30 percent growth in the prior period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net Marcus Chan

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