Barracuda Labs did a study to clear up some of the boasts Twitter has been making about how many users they have, and some media reports about how Twitter is a major phenomena. The bottom line:
Only only 21% of Twitter users are active users. 34% of Twitter users haven’t tweeted once, while 73% of Twitter’s users tweeted less than 10 times. Oops.
Yeah, the #NEWSFLASH is that mainstream casual internet surfers are curious about Twitter, so they create an account and then realize how awkward it is to Tweet about nothing. Finding friends is harder on Twitter than Facebook (speaking from experience, folks- don’t want to hear it). Twitter allows less creativity and expression than Facebook or blogging. Just sayin’.
Anyway, more theories from me:
The bulk of the inactive accounts may also be from Spam Bots and aspiring internet marketers who are:
1) Reserving user names.
2) Never get around from setting up their spam campaign.
3) Unaware their automated Twitter account creator software made 100 fake accounts.
4) Have no idea how to set up these accounts.
5) Spam campaigns are abandoned because most spammers have ADD and just cant focus on ONE campaign.
Barracuda Labs also has stats on theTwitter power users:
26% of Twitter users had 10 followers while 40% were following 10 people or more, and 51% were following less than five people.
Here’s what one Twitter fan had to say about that:
Twitter is long gone and dead… it’s just a dumping ground.
The same way that no one will admit myspace and craigslist are long done too.
Twitter, although still valuable, is more of a waste of time than other outlets. On twitter, the power users have resorted to me me me, while during the peak, they were preaching the art of the retweet.
Twitter has become a waste of time.
The counter argument, from another user:
Reminds me very much of the Second Life hype cycle. Before long, all the chorus will be ringing the premature death toll bell and proclaiming Twitter dead. And just like with virtual worlds, those who understand its real value will quietly go on using it to great benefit.
That’s the way the hype cycle rolls. ;)
Just wanted to add that many so called internet marketing gurus are taking advantage of wanna-be internet marketers by selling high priced Twitter software that allows you to autofollow, schedule tweets, make hundreds of accounts, and other black hat things.
ANYWAY, I can see the benefits of Twitter if you are indeed an authority on something and actually have fans/followers. I can see the benefits if you are totally mobile and have friends and family to communicate with quickly and easily. I can see the benefits of just playing around anonymously with short sarcastic messages. I can see why Twitter helps internet marketing with promoting URLs.
I find it interesting that Twitter has been used as a tool for people who are revolting against tyrannical governments. I find it frustrating that Twitter has been used to create mainstream media news stories when some basketball player or singer tweets something politically incorrect.
But as it stands now, Twitter is dominated by millions of inactive accounts, spam bots, and power users who enjoy being followed, but are snobby and won’t follow back (Sarah Palin was the first power user I noticed that acted like that).
The good news is that not all of the Twitter accounts are robots and I will occasionally interact with a real person. The bottom line is, like many Web 2.0 free properties- “I just don’t get how Twitter makes money” and like DailySkew Co-Founder Tony Vahl says, “I just go with it.”