Posted January 28, 2010 11:03 am by with 9 comments

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Here’s are some metrics that should concern those inside of Twitter:

  • The number of new users per month is down 20% since its peak in July 2009.
  • The average Twitter user has just 27 followers, down from a peak of 42
  • 80% of Twitter users have tweeted fewer than 10 times
  • The percent of active Twitter users is down to just 17%

The data comes from RJMetrics, which analyzed 2 million tweets from about 50,000 users. You could argue that no data is accurate, unless it comes from Twitter itself, but isn’t it interesting that we never see any of these numbers come from Twitter? You’d think that if the real numbers were more encouraging, Twitter would issue a “State of the Twittersphere”–similar to Technorati’s state of the blogosphere report.

If these numbers are accurate, it shesd some light on why Twitter has chosen to find revenue from Google and Bing, before monetizing its user base. The user base is simply not active enough to generate any significant revenue!


  • No surprise here to me at least. I know of MANY placeholder accounts that exist to protect a brand but are not actively used. Numbers of accounts on ANY social media outlet need to be taken with a grain of salt because overall number of accounts has no direct correlation to usage whatsoever. You can’t even draw a dotted line to connect the two.
    .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..SMB’s MUST Do Their Internet Marketing Homework =-.

  • I would be very interested in knowing if these numbers are based on usage only at or does include the myriad of other apps from which most of us send and receive out tweets. I know the last study I read, months ago, only tracked those tweets and usage originating right from
    .-= Ted Rubin´s last blog ..tedrubin: @andressilvaa Thanks for the RT Andres! =-.

    • Good point, Ted. From what I have seen those third party app users are the heaviest users for sure. It would be interesting to get user data from those groups but they don’t seem to be too forthcoming with it.
      .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..SMB’s MUST Do Their Internet Marketing Homework =-.

    • From what I can tell, they gathered the data via Twitter’s API. That would suggest that, unlike some reports that measured use of, this data takes into account all Twitter use.

  • I can’t say that I am surprised. The popularity of Twitter really seemed to peak last spring and summer, driven by the attention news media gave to Twitter in a couple of major events – notably, the Iran election and Michael Jackson’s death. No doubt, a lot of people created accounts on Twitter to see what all of the fuss was about.

    I am wondering, are we now reaching a point where people are becoming “over-connected”? Twitter is great for short hits, such as communicating important events, or newsworthy articles or information that people might find beneficial. It is also a fantastic way to expand one’s network, for business and social purposes.

    However, for the benefits provided by the breadth of reach Twitter enables, it is not a rich communication medium. Beyond having a certain number of followers, can people truly connect on Twitter? I think people are starting to realize that “too much is too much”, and are curtailing use of Twitter in favor of richer social media platforms like Facebook, or (heaven forbid), choosing to focus on offline relationships.
    .-= Eric Buchegger´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • Like many metrics of use, as sites mature, audience numbers and use gauges become more dilute. It doesn’t surprise me that Twitter shows these softening numbers in the aggregate. With any social utility, there will be high frequency users as well as non-users. Add to that the entry of spam into the Twitter UI (porn site have been especially egregious in this regard, where they create accounts with a single tweet and then advertise by following other users), and you have pretty slim evidence of activity when you slice and dice the user universe by the number of average tweets.

  • Those numbers don’t surprise me at all!

    If the average number of followers is down that means people are using it to connect with and make new real friends – and not just accumulate followers.

    Twitter is so huge already. If the percentage increase is down it just means there are so many signed up already. Consider a 10% increase of 2 million or a 20% increase of 100,000 – which is better?
    .-= Auto Tweet´s last blog ..How to Get Started on Twitter and Facebook =-.

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