Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Why My Friends Don’t Use Twitter

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Twitter is a leading social network which claims over 175 million registered users, yet as we reported about in our post Where Have All the Twitter Users Gone the actual number of active users is considerably less than this.

And, to be honest, it’s not surprising why?

Twitter is a crappy User Experience!

Twitter is no Apple when it comes to the user experience. You couldn’t imagine Twitter using this in their promotional advertising could you?

What is Twitter? Twitter is thin. Twitter is beautiful. Twitter goes anywhere and lasts all day. There’s no right way or wrong way. It’s crazy powerful. It’s magical. You already know how to use it. It’s 200,000 apps and counting. All the world’s websites in your hand. It’s video, photos, more books than you can read in a lifetime. It’s already a revolution and its only just begun.

Which is unfortunate, because Twitter technically does do most of that, it just does it in such a way that of 175 million registered accounts, less than 10% of those have been used enough to follow 64 other Twitter users.

This is why Twitter requires a Steve Jobs, or perhaps an enchanting Guy Kawasaki, Apple Computer’s former chief evangelist.

Steve Jobs with apples IPod, IPhone and IPads has changed the technology paradigm, taking tech from the geeks and giving it to the cool set. Twitter, on the other hand is a geek product that has enjoyed widespread adoption mainly with media and marketing types.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Twitter, I think it’s very clever, and it can be a very useful tool, but it’s far from fitting Guy’s criteria for enchantment, being likeability, trustworthiness and a great product. Now while experienced Twitter users may end up being Enchanted by Twitter, how many people can honestly say they found Twitter to be likeable, trustworthy or a great product when they first tried it? Statistically in fact, that’s not the majority of registered Twitter users

To illustrate my point, let’s take a new user through the initial twitter experience. To Start with they arrive at the Twitter website to be greeted by,

Twitter – the best way to discover what’s new in your world.

Now, that sounds like a good promise, doesn’t it.

New to Twitter? Easy, free, and instant updates. Get access to the information that interests you most.

OK, I am sold Step 1, lets register.

Twitter Suer Account Signup

And we are in!.

So, Step 2, follow 10 people that interest me. Hmm, lets go with Twitter’s recommendations.

Twitter Who to Follow

My 10 recommended people to follow are:

  1. @Rove1974 Rove McManus
  2. @KRuddMP Kevin Rudd
  3. @mpesce Mark Pesce
  4. @DoctorKarl Dr Karl
  5. @KateKendall Kate Kendall
  6. @Wil_Anderson Wil Anderson
  7. @paulverhoeven Paul Verhoeven
  8. @mariekehardy Marieke Hardy
  9. @joshthomas87 Josh thomas
  10. @GetUp GetUp!

All followed and in the spirit of expediency I am going to skip all steps involved with creating me a new profile and move right onto the end result of our adventure into the wonderful world of  Twitter.

So, here we go:

First up:

New Twitter Feed 01

Boy, do I agree with you @joshthomas87 Josh Thomas

New Twitter Feed 02

Go @Devops_Borat, I love you too! Give my regards to your sister.

New Twitter Profile 03

Hmm, maybe once we get to know each other a little better @mariekehardy Marieke Hardy

New Twitter Feed 04

@mpesce Mark Pesce, Hmm, well if I was one of the half a million short statured people living in the USA, I may get offended a little at this.

New Twitter Profile 05

@paulverhoeven Thanks Paul, there’s something I didn’t know.

New Twitter Profile 06

@mpesce Mark Pesce well seeing as you dislike Dwarves so much.

New Twitter Profile 07

@paulverhoeven Actually, Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday about the festival of the first harvest of the crops. Nothing racist there.

New Twitter Profile 08

@mpesce Beheadings and titties? Must be viking hour.

New Twitter Profile 09

@mpesc I am sooo glad that you clarified that.

and finally…

New Twitter Profile 10

@paulverhoeven I hope that’s consensual!

You know, I honestly couldn’t have made this up better than what has greeted my new Twitter user tonight. What do you think Steve Jobs and Guy Kawasaki?

I was going to make a video of my wife setting up a new Twitter account instead of simply typing this post. Kind of glad I didn’t really as I think I would have scared her right off Twitter.

So perhaps Twitter isn’t for the faint hearted after all. Or perhaps Twitter needs to take a look at it’s user statistics and try and work out why the majority of registered users never actually use the thing. Perhaps they can think of how they can create a truly great Social Networking platform by working on a great user experience.

OK, so flame me!

Where have all the Twitter users gone

Monday, April 18th, 2011

It’s very well accepted that Facebook currently has over 500 million worldwide users and that 50% of Facebook users log onto the platform on any given day. We know this because Facebook tells us so on the Official Facebook Statistics Page.

That’s actually a phenomenal stat on user engagement and what has given Facebook a critical mass great enough to have other tech greats such as Google begin to worry as users spend a greater share of their time online within the Facebook ecosystem. With a reported 9.5 million Australian’s having registered a Facebook account, that’s 9.5million reasons why businesses need to be establishing themselves with Facebook’s closed environment.

And what of the other social networking great, micro-blogging site Twitter. Well Twitter has just celebrated its 5th birthday and has a reported 175million users. Futher, Twitter released stats on its 5th birthday today including the following:

Twitter users now send more than 140 million Tweets a day which adds up to a billion Tweets every 8 days by comparison, it took 3 years, 2 months, and 1 day to reach the first billion Tweets.

While it took about 18 months to sign up the first 500,000 accounts, we now see close to 500,000 accounts created every day.

Kiss metrics put together the following infographic on the official released Twitter statistics.

Twitter Official Growth Statistics Infographic

Sounds and looks impressive doesn’t it? Well I certainly thought so until I heard of an unofficial report into the Twitter numbers by BusinessInsider.com favourite tech podcast TWIT (This week in Tech).

The Business Insider report is based on data provided by someone with full access to Twitter’s API who took it upon himself to have an engineer look at follower/following statistics, to see how many users are following or are followed by a certain number of people.

This is what the article went on to say:
Using data that is now just one month old, he found out that:
There were 119 million Twitter accounts following one or more other accounts.
There were 85 million accounts with one or more followers.
With these figures, and Twitter’s claim of 175 million accounts, a little subtraction shows us that there are 56 million Twitter accounts following zero other accounts, and 90 million Twitter accounts with zero followers.

So let’s say an “active” Twitter user is someone who follows at least 10 other accounts. How many such “active” Twitter users are there? Our source’s API data shows that there are 56 million accounts on Twitter following 8 or more accounts. There are only 38 million following 16, and just 12 million following 64.

The following infographic puts all that in to context.

Business Insider Chart of the Day How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY Have?

As someone who has been putting in a larger effort to date with clients to increase their influence on Twitter, while I still appreciate the value in the network, I will be placing a much larger emphasis on Facebook again until the numbers tell me something different.