How Important Is Twitter?
It all depends on how you look at it.
After years of keeping the statistic private, CEO Dick Costolo finally released Twitter‘s number of active users, or users who visit the site at least once a month: 100 million.
That’s a lot, even by Internet standards. It’s enough to make it the second most popular social network on the planet behind Facebook—which still dominates the field with 750 million active users.
Twitter also boasted 400 million unique monthly visitors, which would also put it near or at the top of Web site popularity. And all of these numbers are up drastically for Twitter from even a few months ago.
But the number 100 million doesn’t look quite as strong under investigation. Costolo also explained that 40% of Twitter users don’t post anything—they just read others’ posts. And the much higher number of “unique monthly visits” suggests that many Twitter readers don’t actually have Twitter accounts. By themselves though, these considerations might not be a problem, as they demonstrate that Twitter has a wide user base (and can leverage that for ad sales).
But that remaining 60% of active users could be any number of actual people. Many users have multiple accounts, including news organizations with specialized topic feeds, and people who create multiple accounts for everything from fictional characters to escaped zoo animals. In addition, many corporations on the site are just “pumping out press releases,” and not “actively engaging,” according to analyst Debra Aho Williamson in the San Francisco Chronicle.
What do you think? Is Twitter a force to be reckoned with, or could it be mostly hype?