Do you like graphs and and charts? This Inside Twitter post from Sysomos has an abundance of information about Twitter use and users. You know the story but it’s still amazing to see the explosive growth in Twitter. This chart speaks for itself:
The data for users looks pretty poor to me. Very small proportion were willing to give their ages, for example, but the report says that Twitter users skew extremely young. That’s not my experience of it, of course, but I’m skeptical of that finding. I think lots of older folks (“old” is over 40 in this case) are using it as a search tool, a diversion, a one-to-many communication tool.
As you might guess, Twitter use is highly concentrated. It’s not just the 80-20 rule – 80% of Tweets are accounted for by 6% of users. This pattern holds for lots of measures: almost 2/3 of users have less than 20 followers, but a very small percentage have over 2000. One interesting tidbit is that among people who identified themselves as marketers, about 15% follow 2000 or more, but of other users this percentage is under 1%. Part of the marketing buzz about Twitter is self-fulfilling chatter — but on the other hand, these marketing types become a conduit for important messages to spread virally down the chain into the accounts of the folks who follow few people. A new way for marketers to actually earn their dime: they become the broadcast medium.