The #RLTM Scoreboard: Social Networking Stats for the Week
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8% of Online Adults Use Twitter Daily
15% of online adults in the U.S. use Twitter, according to new data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. As of February 2012, 8% of American online adults were accessing Twitter daily. Comparing these numbers to May 2011, overall use of Twitter by online adults has increased only 2%, but the number of daily users has doubled, rising from 4% to 8% in less than one year.
Who are these Twitter users?
- more than one quarter (28%) of online African-Americans use Twitter; 13% do so on a typical day
- one quarter (26%) of internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49
- 31% of the youngest internet users (ages 18-24) are Twitter users
- urban and suburban residents are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts
Are these demographics anything new? While usage rates within most demographic groups changed little, nearly one-third of young adults (ages of 18-24) now use Twitter, up from 18% in May of 2011 and 16% in late 2010.
Change is most evident, however, in the daily use of Twitter. The number of young adult internet users accessing Twitter on a typical day more than doubled in the past year, rising to 20%, up from just 9% in May 2011. Daily usage among slightly older adults (ages 25-34) also doubled—from 5% of such internet users in May 2011 to 11% in February 2012—despite overall usage levels within this group remaining stable over that time period.
Another major finding from the Pew data: the growth of mobile as a key factor behind increasing daily usage on Twitter. Young adults ages 18-24 saw the highest growth in Twitter adoption and also experienced the largest increase in smartphone ownership out of any demographic. Fully one in five smartphone owners (20%) are Twitter users (vs. only 9% of basic mobile phone owners), and 13% use the service on a typical day (vs. just 3% of basic phone owners).
How many mobile users are using Twitter specifically on their mobile phones? Smartphone owners are much more likely than the average cell phone user to use Twitter on their phones (16% vs. 9%), and to do so on a typical day (10% vs. 5%). The general demographic breakdown for Twitter use (listed above) holds steady in the mobile sector as well, with 18-24 year old cell owners the most likely age group to use Twitter on their phones (22%), and 15% doing so on a typical day. African Americans and Latinos both have high rates of smartphone ownership and are heavy mobile Twitter users.
So despite all of Twitter’s media attention over the past year, the overall percentage of Twitter users has remained fairly steady. But engagement is up among users – particularly the younger demographic and mobile users. Will rising smartphone penetration lead to significant growth in Twitter users overall, or just an increase in daily use?
The report is based on data from telephone interviews conducted from January 20 to February 19, 2012, among a sample of 2,253 adults age 18 and older, and from March 15 to April 3, 2012, among a sample of 2,254 adults age 18 and older. To view the full report, click here.