A report from Havard Business out last week has found that of those people who have signed up to Twitter, only a small number are actually tweeting.
Whilst the use of any website is skewed towards a small number of highly active users, this number is even more highly concentrated in the case of Twitter.
A mere 10% of Twitterers account for 90% of all Tweets. By contrast, in the case of Facebook, the top 10% of users produce just 30% of all content added to Facebook pages. Twitter use is even more concentrated than that of Wikipedia, which has been criticised in the past for being produced and edited by too few people. For Wikipedia 15% of people edit 90% of all pages.
In addition to this concentration of users, at the other end of the scale, a typical user tweets just once in their Twitter lifetime. This backs up a study that questions whether Twitter is here to stay: people tend to use Twitter for just one month.
The report commented that this user concentration implied that Twitter “resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network”
This confirms comments we’ve made here before: that it seems like there’s a lot of tweeting going on, but how many of those tweets are actually getting read and responded to?
It also feeds into the idea that people and companies are using Twitter to market themselves, now that there are a few ideas of how use Twitter to do this. Marketing has always tended to be a one-way conversation – for example television advertisements are broadcast into your home. Twitter was hailed as an opportunity to make that conversation two-way, by having customers respond to the messages they were receiving.
But maybe Twitter is becoming just another way for marketers to reach new and existing customers?
One thing is clear: that these highly active users – often now referred to as the Twitterati – have been very good at telling the rest of us how important Twitter is.
Can you see the future of using Twitter? Leave us a comment below, Oh, I forgot the shameless plug: you can always follow WebEden on Twitter.