Where have all the Twitter users gone

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.

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