Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do You Know Who’s on Twitter?

AUGUST 28, 2009

Demographics and usage habits of the microblogging crowd

Twitter has experienced explosive growth in 2009. According to “An In-Depth Look Inside the Twitter World,” from Sysomos, 72.5% of all Twitter users joined the service in the first five months of this year. Who are they?

More than one-half of all Twitter users (53%) are women, and the majority are young. Among users who disclose their age, 66% are under 25, and another 15% are ages 25 to 29.

Twitter Users Worldwide, by Age, May 2009 (% of total)

Most Twitter users are quiet: 85.37% tweet less than once per day. Only about 1.1% of users update their timeline an average of more than 10 times daily. This means a small group of users dominate the Twitter timeline—75% of all Twitter activity comes from just 5% of users.

Average Number of Tweets per Day by Twitter Users Worldwide, May 2009 (% of total)

Not surprisingly, the more followers a user has, the more that person tweets. Sysomos reported that the average number of daily updates rises from three to six among users with more than 1,000 followers. But relatively few users are that popular. In fact, almost 94% of Twitter users have fewer than 100 followers. Just 0.68% reach the thousand-follower mark.

Twitter Users Worldwide, by Number They Follow, May 2009 (% of total)

The situation is very similar in the other direction. The vast majority of users (92.4%) follow fewer than 100 other microbloggers. Less than 1% subscribe to the feeds of at least 1,000 others. Among users who identified themselves as marketers, the numbers were significantly higher: 15% follow more than 2,000 people.

Twitter Users Worldwide, by Number of Followers, May 2009 (% of total)

Marketers are also more likely to update than the average Twitter user. More than 65% post less than once daily—significantly better than the 85.4% overall figure. Another 6.3% of social media marketers post twice per day (compared with 2.8% overall), and 4.3% post at least nine updates per day (versus 1.31% overall).

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