ADOTAS – Heads are getting sore from shaking over Twitter’s valuation — which could be $4 billion, but the company was reportedly chatting with Facebook and Google about an $8 billion to $10 billion acquisition price tag — especially since revenue for 2010 was only $45 million. Still, JP Morgan Chase has lined up the cash to buy 10% of the microblogger via private stock exchanges — people must see some kind of revenue plan for Twitter.
And it’s similar to the one that made Google huge, The Wall Street Journal reports: focusing on small and midsize businesses. While the company has 125 huge brands — think Coca-Cola and Microsoft — in its advertising pocket, Twitter has a growing cadre of 100 SMBs that are finding they can get more ROI from Twitter campaigns than ones on Facebook and Google.
Twitter has been reaching out to SMBs and their marketing agencies since December, according to WSJ; the microblogger currently has a direct sales force of 35 under President of Global Revenue Adam Bain, formerly top dog at the Fox Audience Network. Global certainly seems to be the plan — last week TechCrunch Europe announced that Twitter had hired sales representatives in London, the hub of its European outreach.
In addition, Twitter announced a self-serve ad platform will be released later this year, something that will undoubtedly perk up the ears of local businesses who were curious about the microblogger’s geolocation features.
However, there’s a lot of question about how many people are actually on or using Twitter — a recent Pew Research Center report estimated that only 6% of U.S. adults are regular Twitter users. U.S. growth certainly stalled a while ago, and a zombie population of feed-reposting accounts runs rampant. Global growth, however, is still on the rise.
Also, revenue for 2011 is only pegged at $150 million — it’s more than three times 2010 revenue, but a $4 billion valuation would be 27 times revenue. Then again, estimates on Facebook’s 2010 revenue jumped from $1.2 billion to $2 billion throughout the year — the social network ended up reporting $1.8 billion in revenue.
It’s only March now… Could this be Twitter’s big revenue year, fueled by a blooming SMB stream?