Twitter at 4M-5M Users in 2008

Jan 12, 2009 Social Networking Technology

Popular microblogging site Twitter now has approximately 4M-5M users, the majority of whom joined in 2008 and have contributed to the site’s 600% growth in the last 12 months, according to the first “State of the Twittershpere” (pdf) report from HubSpot.

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The research, which covers Q4 2008, is an analysis of Twitter trends based on data pulled from hundreds of thousands of Twitter profiles. It contains information about Twitter user and traffic growth, user base statistics, tweet statistics, statistics on followers and followings, and geographic information.

Key report findings:

  • Twitter is dominated by newer users, with 70% joining in 2008.
  • An estimated 5K-10K new accounts are opened each day.
  • 35% of Twitter users have 10 or fewer followers.
  • 9% of Twitter users don’t follow anyone at all.
  • There is a strong correlation between a user’s number of followers and the number of people they follow.

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Twitter Dominated by New Users

Hubspot’s analysis finds that of Twitter’s estimated 4-5M users, 30% are relatively new or unengaged. Engaged users, on the other hand, have contributed to a large increase in traffic. In the past 12 months, Twitter use has grown more than 600%, according to Compete.com statistics cited by Hubspot.

Data from Alexa.com, also referenced by Hubspot, shows Twitter.com became one of the top 1,000 websites by traffic in May 2008.

Weekdays are Tweet Days

In terms of the most popular times to use Twitter, the research finds that tweets are generally spread out evenly over the course of the workweek, with Wednesday and Thursday the most popular days overall.

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Moreover, there is about 50% more tweet activity on any weekday than on any weekend day, with Twitter experiencing a 30% decrease over the weekend.

Users also seem to be more active on Twitter while they are at their computers, despite the fact that Twitter has mobile and SMS capabilities, HubSpot found.

Basic Stats on Tweeters

About a third (35%) of Twitter users have 10 or fewer followers, with the average number of followers for all users at 70. Similarly, the average number of people someone is following is 69.

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There a big difference between the most and least-popular Twitter users, Hubspot said. The top users tend to have more followers than the number of people they follow, but the bottom users tend to follow more people than follow them.

Additional findings:

  • 20% of Twitter users have joined in the past 60 days.
  • The average user has been on Twitter 275 days.
  • 80% of Twitter users have a bio specified on their profile.
  • 62% of Twitter users have uploaded a photo to their profile.

English Most Popular Language

Because the location field on Twitter does not require users to specify their exact location, a thorough analysis of Twitter geography is difficult, Hubspot reported. However, based on the most common phrases people type into their bio’s location section, the locations London, USA, San Francisco, New York and Chicago are most popular. Though this does not suggest that Twitter users are necessarily in these locations, it increases the probability that they are familiar with them.

You still think social networking is a fad?

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One thought on “Twitter at 4M-5M Users in 2008

  1. Twitter is not a fad, or passing fancy, it has quickly become another viable social media avenue for SMB’s to the Fortune 500 elite. The New York Times, Dell, and Zappos are all excellent examples of “household names” using Twitter effectively to reach their constituents and interact real time. If you’re in any form of Marketing, Advertising, or PR and you’re not using Twitter you’re likely using Monster.

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