Are Twitter Users Anti-Social?

Jun 22nd, 2009 | By | Category: General, Microblogging

Are Twitter users anti-social?

Last week, Internet marketing blog HubSpot released their second State of the Twittersphere report (pdf).

According to HubSpot’s report:

  • 79.79% Twitter users fail 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

So – more than half of all Twitter users have done nothing more than lurk at the site, and three-fourths of all Twitter users aren’t even trying to be social.

A lot of people are going to take a look at these numbers and conclude that Twitter users are anti-social. That’s a mistake, though, because it confuses Twitter accounts with actual users of the site.

It’s clear that Twitter hype has led a lot of people to sign up for the site to check it out. Many people also have multiple identities on Twitter in order to “stake claim” on those identities. This no different than the way people buy many more domain names than they actually use.

Trying to understand Twitter based on unused accounts makes as much sense as trying to understand the Web based on all the millions of unused domain names.

HubSpot’s statistics are interesting – but their stats would be a lot more useful if they focused on people that actually actively use the site.

via TwistImage

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No Responses to “Are Twitter Users Anti-Social?”

  1. I think there are a lot of twitter accounts that were created over the past 2-3 years that aren’t being used in any capacity. Every service has drop-offs for what ever reason. I think the study should exclude accounts that have been inactive for 30 or more days. I bet if they added that one restriction to the data sets the results would be much different.

    Another interesting point, I think Twitter is an entry level social networking site for many people. I’m finding more and more LinkedIn and Facebook profiles with links to their twitter profile as their blog URL. In some cases, I suspect folks don’t include a homepage URL in their twitter profile because they consider their twitter page as their home page. I think most though, who fall into this category, most likely created a twitter account and never went any further with configuring it.

  2. arjun says:

    Angelo – good idea to look at active accounts only. Maybe 30 days would be too few, though?

    Another thought – companies like Twitter like to talk about how many users they have, but this proves that a lot of that talk is bogus.

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