Mobile Use of Twitter Increases 66%

How many people are actually using Twitter in the US?  eMarketer takes a stab at providing a real answer to this question – going beyond the basic measures of traffic or number of accounts – with a new report, “Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority.”  Twitter may have 200 million users, but in the U.S. this really means just “tens of millions of users” according to eMarketer senior analyst Paul Verna, author of the new report.

Here are the highlights:

  • 20.6 million US adult internet users will use Twitter at least once a month (up 26.3% from 2010)
  • Usage numbers will continue to grow at double-digit rates into 2013, when Twitter will reach 27.7 million US adults
  • 14% of the US adult internet population will be Twitter users in 2013 (up from 11% in 2011)

Twitter is significantly more popular with a younger demographic:  eMarketer reports that the Twitter usage rate among 18- to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group, according to a Pew study. Women users outnumber men, with 10% of US female internet users and 7% of US male internet users using Twitter, according to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

While eMarketer had to lower its projections for Twitter (originally predicting 36 million US adult users by the end of 2012, the estimate was lowered to 24.1 million), there are strong signs of mobile growth as well.  Data from comScore reveals that 7.8 million US mobile device subscribers used Twitter on their phones this January, an impressive 66% increase over January 2010.*

The report concludes that Twitter remains “a strong force within the social media ecosystem and a viable venue for marketers targeting youthful, engaged audiences.”

*This number only includes those using Twitter-branded apps, and does not account for those using other apps including TweetDeck, UberSocial, etc.

  • Bob

    Every day I find four or more new followers to my account. However, they aren’t real people. They’re auto-follow bots. When one views their posts, one can see that the posts are automated. An advert message is mixed in with filler; usually quotations, sometimes random text, occasionally re-tweets of real posts from real people. Often these bots are posting 10 or more messages per day.

    An obvious question is: how many “users” on twitter are real people. A related question is: how much of the humongous traffic load that Twitter always cites are messages from real people to real people (not bot spew)?

    Twitter is becoming (or already is) a cesspool of marketing shit. Chrysler just publicly fired a company providing sock-puppet service. Employers order their staff to get social-media accounts; they typically just re-tweet the drivel from the official marketing account of their company. Then there are the bots. Twitter is a conduit for electronic sewage.

    • Tonia Ries

      While I don’t disagree with you (there is research that backs up your statement: http://therealtimereport.com/2010/03/11/73-of-twitter-accounts-have-tweeted-fewer-than-10-times/) — the same could be said for email and pretty much any open messaging system, including the post office. That’s why curation & filtering of the stream continue to be hot topics.
      Getting value from Twitter requires a certain amount of up-front investment from users: building your feed, finding quality people to follow, learning how to use Lists or other tools. Most users won’t invest the time to do this …