The truth about Twitter usage

Three research firms reported traffic to Twitter.com dropping between the month of September and October. According to these firms, the number of unique US visitors to the Twitter website went down from September to October, from -2.1% to a staggering -27.8% --the latest figure meaning that the number of unique US visitors dropped from 26.2 to 18.9 million unique visitors in October. These reports fueled several comments, spelling troubles for Twitter or stating Twitter's decline.

However the same report also mentioned that in August 2009, 43% of Twitter users accessed the service through 3rd-party applications, and 19% through SMS. Thus a large chunk of Twitter usage is not accounted for, and numbers based on twitter.com traffic only cannot be seriously interpreted.

Indeed, if we compare the August 2009 figure with today's data, Twitter's website users share went down sharply to less than 21%: TweetStats data shows that the twitter.com website, as of Dec 2nd, 2009, is responsible for only 19.19% of all the tweets, via 20.75% of the Twitter users. The most popular 3rd party Twitter client, TweetDeck, produces 17.01% of all the tweets via 13.23% of the Twitter users.



Today most of the people use Twitter clients other that the web site, and the trend is that 3rd party applications shares keep increasing. Also note that the number of tweets increased as well, to about 27.3 millions a day as of mid-November, even though it is difficult to make out the part of spam in that number. All signs point to an increase of Twitter usage, unlike many have concluded. Twitter is well on track to reach 18 million US adults by the end of 2009. Twitter is here to stay and grow.

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For me , twitter is like a RSS reader , lol , i mean i can get updates from favorite sites like neowin ( ) and other blogs like firefox,chrome , fudzilla etc.
So , its better when used like this and not just for following role-models

Twitter is a great tool but it lacks depth.

It's never going to become as popular as youtube, why ?

There is no really static point in which you can create a profile from except your tweets and the amount of followers you have thus there is little to do for the average person who doesn't own a website.

Facebook has pictures, games, friends, live chat, videos but twitter basically only forwards you to content it doesn't hold any content by it's self.

A thing I thought of was a twitter profile, you can upload a photo and have some blocks you can move like a video and your latest tweets, maybe even a little blog section and they can be removed and moved around your customisable page.

Like a vbulletin user profile

I think of Twitter has a communication/exhange platform, somewhere between the professional LinkedIn and the friend-only FaceBook.

First of, Twitter is not symmetric, as Facebook or LinkedIn are --meaning, you can follow people that do not follow you, and conversely--. Second, like in LinkedIn, you can build your personal network of people, expect that it does not have to be professional-related. It can be whatever subject you are interested in, and that other people share. Now that doesn't mean these people are friends, like in FaceBook. So there is a lot of flexibility in the way you can create and maintain connection with people on Twitter. Also, for the record, Twitter is a great RSS replacement, because it comes with people commenting on the feeds and re-enforcing what you are interested in. Again, Twitter requires your participation if you want to take benefit from it.

Correction: you just don't use it, therefore you never experienced how you can benefit from it. E.g., I know several people that found a job via contacts they established on Twitter --as they would have had with LinkedIn.

The problem for twitter is that people who are not going to their website, and instead using 3rd party software to tweet are people that twitter can't really extract money from (ads, and whatever else), unless they start charging people to use twitter

That is a very good point. Twitter so far has not monetized much. We don't know the details of the Google+Bing agreement, so it's hard to know how much money they got from them to license access to the live stream of tweets.

Twitter will be launching premium accounts early next year so that businesses can have detailed analytics about their tweets, the perception of their products and company, etc.

Also Twitter will go into ads as well, although it is still unclear how they will carry the ads w/o a backslash from user (I think that for the mobile apps, it will be a sustainable business plan).

It will go up a little this month due to Neowin forcing you to become a member just to qualify for a contest. They must be getting a kickback

Rohdekill said,
It will go up a little this month due to Neowin forcing you to become a member just to qualify for a contest. They must be getting a kickback

It's kinda hilarious that you think this.

It's a social media site, it's to the benefit of both Twitter and Neowin for people to be on it and following Neowin - no "kickbacks" needed.

Kirkburn said,
It's kinda hilarious that you think this.

It's a social media site, it's to the benefit of both Twitter and Neowin for people to be on it and following Neowin - no "kickbacks" needed.


I just dont' see the point of twitter when you have an RSS feed.

RSS and Twitter are complementary. I used to have RSS feeds, but I hardly read them now. The advantage of Twitter is that you have human beings filtering and amplifying news. RSS delivers way too much data --if you want all the latest tech, business, economy, politics, and sport news, how many feeds do you need? Following people that share your interests helps you getting to the core info, as well as discover new ones.

Lots of hype indeed. Why SMS are so popular, even though it is about the same price to call somebody? Because people like to communicate with a couple of sentences, without expecting for an answer right away. it's the same phenomenon here.

Did anybody predicted that Apple would make a fortune not so much with the iPhone itself, but with the apps that runs on the iPhone? Twitter is a platform that can be used in many ways. Wait for all mobiles to carry Twitter+geolocation. it will be a total hit. Not only for people to know who's around, but for local info, shopping, traffic, events, etc.

Olivier Coudert said,
...for local info, shopping, traffic, events, etc.

Why on earth would I use an unorganized mess like Twitter for these things when there are much better, more organized, tools available (take the new Bing maps, for example)?

Because Twitter can be used by local business to do local, real-time, promotion, and Twitter is the perfect app to be on a mobile. Bing maps will not give you this (yet, unless hooked with Twitter).

i still don't understand what the hell twitter is??

some form of nerdy "big brother" text status thing?

"i'm having a pee"
"im now eating toast"
"im now updating im status, hence why im typing this"

jesus christ... get a life, do something else, do people really care? or have i got the wrong end of the stick?

As said above, once you engage people, like you would with Facebook or LinkedIn, you can build your network of people with which you will share common interests. You can also use the platform for promotion, if done properly --but really, social network is also about self-promotion.

I see everyday how Twitter is used by companies for direct marketing. Do you know that Dell made a couple of millions dollars via Twitter? I see everyday how people that provide quality material grow their followers and impact in the community. You can easily discard people tweeting about what they had for breakfast (I do), but don't underestimate the many people that give countless of relevant information, real-time. Again, it is a matter of getting in, listening, then engaging. I was pretty suspicious myself, until I gave it a try. After a month, I realize how powerful that platform can be.

Olivier Coudert said,
I was pretty suspicious myself, until I gave it a try. After a month, I realize how powerful that platform can be.

There is a search called OneRiot, and whenever it displays tweets, I find myself wondering just how unintelligible tweets are - no punctuation, no caps. Just often a random soup of words, it seems.

Is there some sort of a 1337 speak there, I mean how do you guys understand each other?

SolwayUK said,
i still don't understand what the hell twitter is??

some form of nerdy "big brother" text status thing?

"i'm having a pee"
"im now eating toast"
"im now updating im status, hence why im typing this"

jesus christ... get a life, do something else, do people really care? or have i got the wrong end of the stick?


It can also be used for

"Get the most out of Windows Server 2008 R2's virtualization technologies..."

I mean, why do people always complain about Twitter and ridiculous status updates? This is the kind of friends you DON'T add there. :S

I don't think you can judge by just doing a search on tweets. Yes, most of the tweets are meaningless, un-interesting, or spam. But as are most of the emails, if you had access to the millions of emails produced every hours (out-of-context or irrelevant sentences will not mean much to any of us). But you don't have to read all these tweets... Again, it all depends on who you follow. You can follow techies, CEOs, artists, news, politicians, your buddies, it all up to you.

There are many mobile apps to access Twitter (e.g., TweetDeck and Seesmic on iPhone and BlackBerry). At some point most of Twitter usahe WILL be on mobile, that's the best device for that application: short (140 characters) tweets with geolocation, real-time search. It will subsume SMS and be an ubiquitous application.

uh...doesn't internet traffic fall overall in the lead up to winter? I can't remember where i read that, but interactivity falls as people get more busy going into the holidays.

never really saw the point of twitter. I bet they wished they put some ads on so they cud atleast make some profit b4 dying.

Twitter requires user to listen and participate. Else, indeed, it's pointless, unless you are just interested in reading news --Twitter as a RSS substitute.

Once you engage people, like you would with Facebook or LinkedIn, you can build your network of people with which you will share common interests. You can also use the platform for promotion, if done properly --but really, social network is also about self-promotion.

Urgh, way too many percentages in that article to really understand what the hell it's telling me.

What it says is that recent reports led people to believe Twitter's usage is on the way down, but they are misleading. These reports are based on traffic numbers of the twitter.com website, and do not account for 3rd party Twitter client, which represent 80% of the tweets consumption. So all that noise about Twitter plateau'ing is unfounded.

what said,
Urgh, way too many percentages in that article to really understand what the hell it's telling me.

It's telling you that Twitter sucks.

There is enough people that care: (1) some significant amount of money has been invested in it; (2) close to 18 millions of people in the US are enlisted (far more use it as read-only); (3) it is still in its infancy and has a lot more to grow. E.g., the geolocation will enable direct proximity promotion, and that is a huge market (Twitter is only one player in that fast-growing segment).

I swear neowin has a backhand deal with twatter.
All competitions on neowin require twatter now.
I complained and my post got deleted.

Seriously; I hate twatter, and if there IS some backhand deal going on with them, well, close my account because I don't want to be part of such a shameful news site that used to be amazing.

I use twitter... if you have a problem with it, ignore it... go away from it. Don't use it. But there is no need for it to die, when millions others like to use it.

Too many outlets. I like MSN Messenger, but no one uses it. I like AOL, but no one uses it. I gotta chat with Facebook now.

ccoltmanm said,
Too many outlets. I like MSN Messenger, but no one uses it. I like AOL, but no one uses it. I gotta chat with Facebook now.

You can combine all three with Pidgin (free, open source IM). Facebook IM isn't native to Pidgin but can be added with a plugin.

I stopped using Twitter ages ago. Its a good site, but when you compare it to Facebook or something like Tumblr it just doesnt have as good of a user base. I also have been getting spammed a lot lately by followers that seem like bots. It may just be me, but I just dont need to make a status update every hour like some people do

Spam only depends on who you follow. I have been using Twitter for gathering info, keeping up to date, and augment my Internet footprint quite successfully. Facebook is limited in terms of speed and scope. Twitter is somehow between LinkedIn and Facebook (LinkedIn being the all prefessional, Facebook the casual). I use the three of them, but I like the speed and concision of Twitter.

Maybe people are getting bored about twitter!!!! There has been an rapid increase in usage and may be many realized tweeting isnt everything...

still1 said,
Maybe people are getting bored about twitter!!!! There has been an rapid increase in usage and may be many realized tweeting isnt everything...

I don't think they're getting bored, they've run out of a reason to use it as much - the election is over, there is no politicking which is where alot of the traffic came from, along with the pre-launch hype of Windows 7 and Snow Leopard. There will always be peaks and troughs according to what is happening in the real world.

gamestargrinder said,
I stopped using Twitter ages ago. Its a good site, but when you compare it to Facebook or something like Tumblr it just doesnt have as good of a user base. I also have been getting spammed a lot lately by followers that seem like bots. It may just be me, but I just dont need to make a status update every hour like some people do



There isn't any such thing as a good site, when it comes to these crapware places.

They should simply be against the law!