Back in April of 2011, we explored the growth of Twitter, which at the time was posting some impressive numbers. Though the explosive growth of Twitter’s first five years has leveled off a bit, it’s remained a strong force in social media, used by celebrities, companies, and regular folks like you and me. Like most social networks, Twitter has expanded to global reach, but how it’s used worldwide is what sets it apart.
The vast majority of tweets here and abroad are essentially one-offs – a blip on the Twitter feed never to be seen again. In fact, 71% of tweets produce no reaction at all. But tweets and retweets sometimes gain traction in a big way, as seen in the 2008 case of American grad student James Karl Buck using Twitter to alert friends he had been arrested during an anti-government protest in Mahalia, Egypt. That initial tweet, along with its retweets among Buck’s friends and followers, served to highlight his plight and pressured the authorities to release him the following day.
Because Twitter’s reach extends into nearly every country in the world, it’s been present for newsworthy events across the globe, even at times being central to these events as they’ve unfolded. Take, for example, 2011’s Arab Spring, where thousands of people in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya shared messages and organized protests via social networks including Twitter.
In a world that’s both overwhelmingly large and increasingly small, social networks have the ability to reach a vast audience, and Twitter’s natural fit on mobile phones has helped it to earn a position toward the top of the social media heap. After all, in countries where infrastructure may be unreliable, mobile phones are one conveyance that is accessible for many. And because Twitter’s 140-character limit was designed to fit within text messaging or SMS parameters, it makes sense that it’s mobile-friendly.
But what about Twitter’s influence here, closer to home? Beyond the geopolitical ramifications of social media, Twitter is a large portion of digital presence for many. And while you or I may not be creating tweets that rock the world, we’re still participating in a global phenomenon. Consider these fun stats:
- 10 tweets per second mention Starbucks. Tweet This
- The average Twitter user has tweeted 307 times. Tweet This
- 32% of all Internet users are using Twitter. Tweet This
- 69% of follows on Twitter are suggested by friends. Tweet This
- The USA’s 141.8 million accounts represent 27.4% of all Twitter users. Tweet This
- 91% of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands.Tweet This
- 60% of U.S. smartphone owners now visit their favorite social networking sites on a daily basis, up from 54% in 2011.Tweet This
- 46% of U.S. social media users now access platforms such as Twitter and Facebook via their mobile phone, up 9% – almost one-quarter overall – from 2011. Tweet This
- 31% of the average smartphone owner’s Internet time is spent social networking – close to twice as much as email. Tweet This
- 16% of U.S. Internet users are on Twitter. Tweet This
- The average Twitter user has 126 followers. Tweet This
- The average business has 14,709 Twitter followers. Tweet This
- There are more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the entire planet. Tweet This
- 60% of Twitter users are female. Tweet This
- 92% of retweets are based on interesting content. Tweet This
- Twitter is available in more than 25 languages, including right-to-left languages like Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Urdu. Tweet This
- 16% of customers use Facebook, Twitter and the other major social networks to interact with businesses. Tweet This
A little closer to home, what can Twitter do for your business? Consider this: if 91% of 18-34 year olds using social media are talking about brands, and ten tweets per second mention Starbucks, where do you think these 18-34 year olds are buying their coffee? As a means of engagement with your customer, Twitter can promote your business if you learn to use it to your advantage.