Twitter’s active user base stands to grow by 24.4% in 2014, fueled by an especially strong surge in the emerging markets of India and Indonesia, according a forecast released today by eMarketer.
In fact, the Asia-Pacific region has more active Twitter users than either North America or Western Europe, according to eMarketer, and by the end of the year will be home to 30% of the world’s active Twitter users. By 2018, eMarketer predicts, that share will rise to 40%. And that’s not counting China, which was left out of the survey because Twitter is banned there.
By the end of 2014, India will have 18.1 million users and Indonesia will have 15.3 million, and surpass the United Kingdom as the third- and fourth-largest Twitter markets.
Twitter has been battling the perception of Wall Street that its growth is too slow in the U.S. market, which it taps for nearly 75% of its advertising revenue. Twitter’s internal figures showed 255 million active users worldwide on April 29, up 5.8% since the end of 2013.
eMarketer, which reports lower monthly active user figures than Twitter because it uses customer survey data to weed out business accounts and multiple accounts for individual users, predicts Twitter’s overall growth rate to decline slightly through 2018 when it hits 386 million.
The prediction for U.S. growth? 11.6% this year, then dropping to single digits (9.1%, 8.2%, 7.1% and 6.4%) through 2018:
Twitter user growth in the US is maturing, and by 2015, eMarketer estimates that the social network’s gains in the country will taper off into single digits. Twitter’s US user base gets outsize—but appropriate—attention because it accounted for nearly three-quarters of Twitter’s total ad revenues in 2013, according to company reports. The US will remain the single largest country in terms of the number of individual Twitter users throughout our forecast, but currently, it still represents just over 20% of all Twitter users worldwide. That market share will drop over the years, leaving room for Twitter to grow its non-US ad revenues by leveraging an expanding user base in emerging markets.