A recent study conducted by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project revealed that only 2% of Americans use Twitter daily. This is the first time that a survey was fully dedicated to examine the demographics of Twitter usage and popularity in the United States. It was also triggered by the seemingly emerging promise and popularity of the social network since its launch in 2006. Today, Twitter claims that they have 10 million users worldwide.
This is a very interesting, but utterly low statistics considering the attention that Twitter gets from media and the public. So, is it just mere tweets and no bite after all? Or are Americans still fans of “other” social networks?
The same study also remarkably revealed the following results:
- 8% of all surveyed uses and has Twitter accounts
- 7% American adults know how to utilize the internet and Twitter cohorts 6% of the Internet literate population
- 10 out of 17 Twitter users are women
- Twitter is more popular to young adults under the 18-29 age group
The same report also explained how the survey questions were crafted and how they made the strategy more focused on Twitter language. “We initially framed the question in a way we hoped would capture Twitter users and others who use the same functionality on other kinds of internet services. Thus, our status update question in eight surveys between August 2008 and September 2010 asked: “Do you ever use the internet to use Twitter or another service to share updates about yourself or to see updates about others?”
Again, this study may not show that this platform of expressing one’s feelings, getting the latest buzz and information on various topics, but Twitter has remained Facebook’s direct competitor in a bigger podium. To prove that Twitter is still important, it recently responded to attacks on the social network’s “trending topics” process, thanks to the Wikileaks fiasco.
Twitter spokesperson Carolyn Penner defended this system, saying, “Twitter Trends are automatically generated by an algorithm that attempts to identify topics that are being talked about more right now than they were previously. The Trends list is designed to help people discover the ‘most breaking’ breaking news from across the world, in real-time. The Trends list captures the hottest emerging topics, not just what’s most popular.” They also denied allegations that they already banned wikileaks terms on their site.