The popularity of social networking sites such as the giant Facebook and its baby brother Twitter is something which can be hard to quantify in terms of figures. Perhaps the best way to do so is to use the site yourself and see if indeed, it changes the way you live your life in the way it seems to have changed others.
Facebook for example, is particularly popular at universities where societies and organizations need a free infrastructure to manage social and university events, it is these functions - amongst others which have rocketed Facebook into the big time.
Both Twitter and Facebook have had their ups and downs since their respective launches - DDOS attacks galore and some bad press regarding some members of the user base have meant that some difficult moralistic decisions have had to be made, despite this popularity has grown and grown.
News is being reported today with some foretasted figures regarding Twitter's user base, the result is somewhat unsurprising. According to the latest research from eMarketer, that number will be at around 18 million by the end of 2009. But how many of these users are ones who wake up especially early to tweet their thoughts and news to the rest of the tweeters on Twitter?
eMarketer considers 'users' as people who access Twitter via any platform – Web, client, mobile or otherwise – at least once per month. Perhaps a benchmark which many might consider to be especially irregular in terms of the amount the service is used. The study is pertinent to the US only and the research firm calls its estimates 'conservative' in light of other stats that show Twitter has a high abandonment rate, according to Mashable.com
The numbers are fifty percent higher the estimates that eMarketer made earlier this year, when they projected that Twitter would have just 12 million users at the close of 2009. On this basis, onwards to predictions during 2010 - the current estimate is for 26 million users. A clear sign that the tiny Twitter might well be outgrowing its baby clothes.