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Twitter By Their Numbers




Twitter has posted some numbers on their blog with the intent of making the world (and particularly those at SXSW I suppose) go “Ooooo! ahhhhh!” here are the highlights

Regarding the number of accounts:

  • 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
  • 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
  • 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.

Regarding the number of tweets

  • 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
  • 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
  • 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
  • 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
  • 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
  • 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
  • 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.

OK, the numbers are impressive. There is no denying that Twitter has a very real place in the world. As marketers though we need more detail because if there is one thing that the Web 2.0 has shown us is that quantity and quality rarely have a direct correlation.

In fact, we have learned to take any numbers we hear as ‘evangelical’ (meaning those used to promote a service) and go so far as to cut them in half in order to think we are closer to reality than the number provider really is.

We that in mind here are a few questions that would really help marketers.

  • How many of these accounts are placeholder accounts from people who have simply squatted or protected a name or idea?
  • What percentage of new accounts represent real people?
  • How many of these accounts have thousands of followers but have not produced a single tweet themselves?
  • If you took away the social media ‘insiders’, in other the words the ‘super user’ how many tweets would you have?
  • What are your plans to rid Twitter of the automated junk and spam that has made the service untenable on many days?

There really isn’t a need for many more questions although I suspect that if our readers had the chance to ask Twitter to truly ‘open the kimono’ on the true numbers behind the service we might see a different picture.

So readers, what questions would you love to see Twitter answer about their service, the numbers associated with it or really any other aspect? What if you had one question to ask the service if you knew they had to answer it and answer it truthfully? What would that question be?

  • http://www.airfoilpr.com/services/digitalsocialmedia social media services

    Nice article, I’m impressed by just how much Twitters numbers have grown over the last year! I would ask Twitter where they want / think they will be in another year, five and ten. What are their goals moving forward? We all know Google is continuously trying to steel the market for everything they can, will Twitter try to dominate the social market?

  • http://www.orbitalalliance.com Simon Yohe

    With these numbers of new accounts on a daily basis, it is only a matter of time before the average twitter account has thousands of followers and following thousands, and for many tens of thousands. Seems then that there will be so much noise in the system that real, informative, information will be missed because there will be too much junk and reposts made every second. Those that truly want to use Twitter for what it was initially meant to do will no longer be able to enjoy it.

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      @Simon – Well said. Twitter could run the risk of choking on its ‘success’ because its definition of success is driven by numbers rather than effectiveness. This will be interesting to watch.

      If Twitter had some real ‘stones’ (pun intended, they would tell us how many tweets are attributable to someone who describes themselves as being in the Internet marketing industry. Then you could look at what the potential market is outside of the relatively small but ridiculously loud echo chamber that is the ‘industry’.

      • http://www.orbitalalliance.com Simon Yohe

        Agreed… it would be very interesting to see how many of these new accounts are actually posting content on a regular basis. They should look into implementing similar to what Google just did a couple days ago about being able to block certain search results if you find them spam or junk.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    That’s an awful lot of spambots signing up for Twitter….

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      @Michael AMEN

  • http://allys.biz Recruitment Consultants UAE Dubai Abu Dhabi

    i was able to quickly donate to japan red cross through their google crisis homepage. i always have trouble finding charity groups to donate to because i dont know which ones are legit. they made it straightforward so i didnt hesitate.