Is The State Of The Twittersphere Declining?

On June 10 HubSpot released its second State of the Twittersphere report. The report looks at information collected from over 4.5 million Twitter accounts over the last nine months. Their conclusion:

"…many of the accounts on Twitter aren’t actually using it all that much."

The report found that:

  • 79.79% failed to provide a homepage URL;
  • 75.86% of users have not entered a bio in their profile;
  • 68.68% have not specified a location;
  • 55.50% are not following anyone;
  • 54.88% have never tweeted;
  • 52.71% have no followers.

The report also combines three criteria (followers, friends and updates) to determine that 9% of Twitter users are inactive.

The lack of homepage URLs and locations doesn’t surprise me – many people don’t have blogs or something they’d consider a "homepage," and many more are concerned about their privacy. However, the fact that 55% of Twitter accounts have no bio, that 55% follow no-one and/or have never tweeted and that 53% have no followers is food for thought.

A few mitigating factors come to mind, which might explain some of these statistics:

  • This report looked at 4.5m Twitter accounts compared to the 500,000 included in the last report. Twitter’s exponential growth means that a large proportion of accounts are likely new, and new users have less followers, friends and updates;
  • Spammers  and bots represent an increasingly large proportion of the Twittersphere;
  • Savvy people and companies are claiming their Twitter IDs whether they’re ready to use them or not;
  • According to Technorati‘s latest State of the Blogosphere, less than 6% of blogs have been active in the last four months. By that measure of activity, Twitter’s users are quite active.

Still, these statistics are a useful wake-up call. Twitter still isn’t a silver bullet solution to your problems. Neither is social media as a whole. They may be an important part of your toolkit, but they cannot operate in isolation.

Integrated communications approaches are, and will continue to be, the best approach.

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.