Jason Keath has culled highlights from the recent Edison Research “Twitter Usage in America 2010”, which examines the reach of the massively popular microblogging and social networking site, and analyzes the behavior of the site’s users. Here’s a synopsis.
- While the widely reported number of Twitter users is over 100 million, only 17 million Americans actively use Twitter. The reason for the discrepancy is the prevalence of spam accounts or multiple accounts created by one person.
- Most Twitter users don’t actively update their accounts; they observe the time lines of the users they follow without posting to their own.
- The percentage of Twitter users who are African Americans in the United States is approximately 25%.
- The percentage of Americans who know what Twitter is has jumped from a mere 5% in 2008 to an astounding 87% in 2010. It’s safe to say Twitter is a household name!
- Compared to other social networking sites, three times more Twitter users than users of other services follow brands.
- Compared to other social networking sites, a higher percentage of Twitter updates come from mobile phones or mobile devices.
- Despite this, only 7% of Americans are familiar with location-based social networking.
What do these figures tell us? Most importantly, they tell us that while Twitter is nearly off the charts in name recognition, it’s actual usage pulls in much more conservative numbers. There are fewer genuine Twitter accounts than first meets the eye because of dupe accounts used for spamming. And those that do use their accounts for real, use them mostly to hear, rather than be heard.
As a marketer, the most intriguing fact is the attention Twitter users pay to brands that are represented on the site. This report backs up any social media expert who encourages businesses to get tweeting in a hurry, because the Twitter buzz – despite fail whales, bugs, and the ongoing war with rival social network Facebook – is at an all-time high.