Twitter Nears the 500 Million Mark, But How Many Have Flown the Coop?
Hear that? That’s the sound of 9.3 people registering a new Twitter account. According to Twopcharts, that happens every second. Who knew?
Here’s a cool chart that shows how many people registered just before I wrote this:
At this rate, Twopcharts predicts that Twitter will cross the 500 million mark sometime in February. But unlike the hoopla surrounding Facebook’s approaching milestone, Twitter’s isn’t that clear cut.
As we all know, lots of people sign up for Twitter. Many people (see me raising my hand), sign up for multiple accounts. But how many people continue to use their accounts a month later? Six months later?
What do we even consider an active account?
If a person has an account in order to follow the Tweets of others but rarely Tweets themselves, is that active?
Twop tries to make sense of it on their blog with a complex series of twists and Tweets that you should check out if you like that kind of thing. They spent a lot of time and effort on it, so you should look. . . but not now. When we’re done here.
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What they did was check a baseline of 100,000 accounts registered around three months ago. They found that:
- 12% had been closed, maybe by Twitter, maybe by the owner
- Of the remaining, 62% haven’t changed their profile pic. It’s still an egg. (And believe it or not, I just now understood why it’s an egg.)
- 53.8% have never sent a single Tweet
- 19,721 of the accounts have no followers and they don’t follow anyone
Taking all of that and more into consideration, they’ve deduced that around 20 to 25% of accounts converted into active users, but only 10% actually send out Tweets.
My totally unscientific hypothesis matches theirs. Just looking at my own Twitter world as a microcosm for the bigger picture, a small percentage of the people I follow send out the most Tweets. There’s another 25% who hardly ever Tweet. Why do I follow them? Because they’re friends or maybe they used to Tweet and don’t anymore.
Given all of this, is it even worth using Twitter for marketing? Sure it is. Because even though the active users represent a small portion of the total pool, they are active. That means that they may see your message and pass it along to their friends.
If Tweeting brings in one new customer a month, that’s one customer you didn’t have before. The warning here is not to spend too much time on Twitter. It’s a useful tool, but most small companies aren’t going to see a return on investment if you spend two hours a day crafting Tweets.
How much time do you spend on Twitter? Do you think it’s time well spent, or are you contemplating joining the millions who have already flown the Twitter coop?