Twitter user growth attributed to emerging markets

Everyone's favourite 140-character phenomenon will see a user base increase of 24.4 per cent in 2014, according to eMarketer.

eMarketer predicts that user growth will continue with double-digit gains through 2018, with serious potential growth opportunities in emerging markets.

The study estimates that the number of Twitter users in Asia-Pacific has now far exceeded those in Western Europe and North America. This figure excludes the huge potential user base of China due to the country's ban of the site.

In 2014, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 32.8 per cent of all Twitter users, whereas only 23.7 per cent will be found in North America, it is estimated. By 2018, Asia-Pacific will dominate the user base, with double the current figure for North America.

If China retracts its ban, then Asia-Pacific's total users could be even higher. Without that factored in though, Twitter should hit 400 million users globally by 2018 if the eMarketer study is correct.

India and Indonesia are expected to see the most consistent growth throughout the forecast period with user base increases of 50 per cent. The two countries will likely hit 18.1 million and 15.3 million users, rendering them the third- and fourth-largest Twitter populations in the world, respectively.

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, say company reports. Throughout the period of projection, the US will remain the single largest country for single user profiles, but its maturing user growth and increase in other countries' user bases will lead to a shift in ad revenues to emerging markets.

Twitter will be hoping for continued growth, what with its stock market plunge earlier in the year.