Life in Twitter Nation

The Twitterization of America continues apace, according to an Edison Research/
Arbitron report released last month, though so far more in clamor about the service than in actual usage of it.

In polling for the report, conducted in February among respondents age 12 and up, 87 percent said they’re aware of Twitter — up from 26 percent in 2009. Still, just 7 percent said they currently use it, though that’s up from a mere 2 percent last year. And a majority of Twitter users are “lurkers,” according to the report, “passively following and reading the updates of others without contributing updates of their own.” Fifty-three percent of monthly users said they don’t ever post updates to Twitter — though 70 percent do post updates in some social media, notably Facebook. Among those who ever use Twitter, the 18 percent who do it several times a day are nearly matched by the 15 percent who do this less than once a month.

As the chart here indicates, a majority of people who employ Twitter at least monthly would be unfazed if the service started incorporating targeted advertising, though a significant minority would feel otherwise. It’s certainly not as though the notion of Twitter as a venue for commerce is alien to most of its regular users. Among these respondents, 42 percent said they’ve used it to “learn about products/services.” Twenty-eight percent have used it to “look for discounts/sales,” 21 percent to “purchase products/services” and 19 percent to “seek customer support.”

And then there’s the Twitter-borne exchange of information and opinion about products and services: 41 percent of Twitter’s regulars said they have used it to “provide opinions” of this sort and 31 percent to “ask for” such opinions.”

Publish date: May 10, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT