Twitter’s pre-IPO filing is full of fascinating nuggets ready to be blurbed in 140 characters. But to me, the most interesting tidbit is all about how much money the company makes each time you hit refresh on your feed, and what it says about the value of American consumers versus the rest of the world.
Twitter likes to measure its advertising revenue for every 1,000 timeline views, (for some reason, they call it “advertising revenue per timeline view,” as if they’re counting one at a time, but ignore that for now because it’s confusing). What counts as a view? It’s every timeline “requested when registered users visit Twitter, refresh a timeline or view search results while logged in,” either from your desktop or mobile device. Across the entire world, the company makes $ 0.80 per thousand views, or $ 0.0008 each time you look at your feed.
But all views are not worth the same. In the United States, the value is $ 2.17 per thousand views, or $ 0.00217 per time you refresh. Elsewhere, it’s $ 0.30 per thousand, or $ 0.00030 per refresh. That’s why even though 77 percent of Twitters 215 million monthly users come from outside the U.S., only 25 percent of its revenue comes from advertising to them.
There might be billions of potential new Twitter fans around the world. But the most valuable ones by far are right here in the U.S.