Who is Using Twitter?
Twitter users have often been associated with terms such as Twits, Tweeps and Twerps and have hidden their tweeting idiosyncrasies from friends and family. Like an alcoholic hides their bottles.
The 140 character limit has been cast as not necessary in a world of “Big Data”, where saying a lot is valued more than saying less.
Is Twitter Growing?
The Pew Research Center Study revealed the following
- Some 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012
- 8% do so on a typical day.
- Overall Twitter usage has nearly doubled since November 2010.
- The percentage of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011
- The proportion of of adults using Twitter on a typical day has quadrupled (now 8%) since late 2010 where it stood at 2%
Who Uses Twitter?
- Several demographic groups stand out as having high rates of Twitter usage relative to their peers.
- African-American internet users continue to use Twitter at high rates. More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28%) use Twitter, with 13% doing so on a typical day (this is nearly double the overall average)
- Young adults — One quarter (26%) of internet users ages 18-29 use Twitter, nearly double the rate for those ages 30-49.
- City residents — Residents of urban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts.Among the youngest internet users (those ages 18-24), fully 31% are Twitter users. These numbers on the 18-24 demographic reveal that the heavy use of texting is also moving to Twitter which will have some implications for advertising on Twitter by marketers and brands over time
Twitter use within the overall population remained steady over the last year, and usage rates within most major demographic groups changed little over the same time period.
There are some standouts.
- Twitter use among 18-24 year olds increased dramatically between May 2011 and February 2012, both overall and on a “typical day” basis.
- Nearly one third of internet users in this age group now use Twitter, up from 18% in May of 2011 and 16% in late 2010.
What is a Typical day of Twitter Usage?
In addition to increasing on an overall basis, the proportion of young internet users who use Twitter on a typical day also doubled over the last year. Fully one in five internet users ages 18-24 (20%) now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9% in May 2011.
Notably, “typical day” usage among slightly older adults (those ages 25-34) also doubled—from 5% of such internet users in May 2011 to 11% in February 2012—even as overall usage levels within this group remained stable over that time period.
There are two major takeways that have implications for marketers.
- The growth of smart phone adoption is highly correlated to the growth of Twitter usage.
- The 400% growth in Twitter usage by 18-24 year olds
These two standouts will need to be considered in marketing campaign planning and how this integrates into the use of other platforms such as Facebook and mobile apps.