There’s been a lot of Twitter-related data out there recently. Some of it comes from Twitter’s 2010 developer conference in April:
- 106 million registered users with 40% inside the U.S.
- An average of 55 million tweets per day
- 60% of all tweets come from third party applications
- 600 million Twitter search queries per day
These raw numbers are impressively huge, but further context is helpful. eMarketer reported that in 2009 around 18M U.S. adults used Twitter at least once a month (vs. almost 40M registered users as reported by Twitter), a figure that is expected to double by 2012.
Edison Research also published a comprehensive report on Twitter usage. Among their findings was the chart below, which shows that one-third of Twitter users log into the service daily.
Over half of active Twitter users don’t post any updates. Clearly, like most social media there are many passive followers (aka lurkers) who don’t contribute to conversations, but are content to observe the posts of others. The report also notes that Twitter users are more active in other social media venues – in fact, 70% of active Twitter users post regular updates to some kind of social networking site. This indicates that the comparatively lower rate of Twitter participation is due to the medium itself.
I also found fascinating the link between Twitter and mobile usage. The charts below show that nearly two-third of monthly Twitter users access social networking sites via their mobile phones, whereas that figure drops to one-third among all social network users. In other words, Twitter users have a far greater propensity to do their social networking (whether on Twitter or elsewhere) via mobile.
Editor's Note: Alternately, these mobile Twitter users may be like me... I tend to use Twitter primarily via a mobile device. When I am using a laptop or desktop PC to access the web, I find myself using other social media rather than Twitter. -- RP
My first thought was that differences in demographics might be driving this difference in behavior. A quick visit to Quantcast showed that visitors to Twitter.com (which admittedly represents only a portion of Twitter’s user base) are older than those to Facebook and MySpace (my proxy for other social networking sites). But that by itself doesn’t explain such a dramatic difference in behavior.
Editor's Note: Most demographic studies show that Twitter users are higher income, as well as older than the general Internet User population... Making Twitter users more desirable for car dealers.
The sheer variety of methods to use Twitter contribute to its utility and also make it more difficult to measure what is truly going on. Of course, there’s no shortage of companies trying to measure Twitter usage, so we’re guaranteed to continue seeing more data.