Twitter's Financial Forecast Shows First Revenue In Q3, 1 billion users in 2013

Our negotiations with Twitter (or rather Twitter’s lawyers) over our intention to publish a small subset of the 310 hacked confidential documents continue. We published the first document, a pitch for a reality television show called Final Tweet, earlier this morning.

Far more interesting, though, is this internal Twitter financial forecast from February 2009. Twitter has told us that this was never an official document and it certainly is no longer accurate. But it gives an interesting glimpse into the company’s financial targets nonetheless. The projections go forward to 2013.

The most interesting data point – As of February, Twitter expected their first revenue to come in Q3 2009 (which is now). A modest $400,000 was expected, followed by a more robust $4 million in Q4. The document also shows Twitter’s projected user growth (25 million by the end of 2009), which it has absolutely blown through already. By the end of 2010, Twitter expected to be at a $140 million revenue run rate.

As of February the company had $45 million in the bank (they’d raised $55 million at that time). And they expected the cost of each Twitter user to the company to be just over $1/year.

We’re including just the projections through 2010, the data for the following three years is too pie-in-the-sky to be useful. But here are the numbers they were targeting for the end of 2013: 1 billion users, $1.54 billion in revenue, 5,200 employees and $1.1 billion in net earnings.

So what’s the product that they believe will bring in $400k in revenue this quarter? That’s something we’ll discuss in our next post.