I’ve been using Twitter for almost four years now. I now have three Twitter accounts. My personal account (Starre), an account for my classes (DrJLBowie), and the new Screen Space (Screen_Space). I’ve incorporated Twitter into a few of my classes, to the students’ mix of horror and excitement. But, as Lauren Dugan discuss in “So, How Many People are Actually on Twitter?”, there are not a lot of people on Twitter (compared to… Facebook I guess). She reports on two studies, one Dec 2011 and one in March of 2011, that estimate about 8-11% of US adults use Twitter (the earlier PEW study estimates 8% and the later eMarketer study says 11%). While she counts these numbers as low, this is still 24.5 to 34.5 million people. The eMarkter reports may say it best with the title Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority. Here are a few tidbits to keep in mind from the Pew study:

  • Twitter “has become a widely used tool among analysts to study the conversations and interests of users, buzz about news, products or services, and announcements by commercial, non-profit, and government organizations”
  • It is one of the “most popular online activities among tech enthusiasts”
  • A greater percentage of women (10%) use Twitter than men (7%)
  • At 14%, the 18-29 year old range is twice as likely to user Twitter than the 30-49 (7%) and 50-64 (6%) age groups
  • Only 4% of the 65+ age group use Twitter
  • Hispanics (at 18%) and Blacks (13%) are much more likely than Whites (5%) to use Twitter
  • At 11% more urban people use Twitter than suburban (8%) and rural (5%)

So, who really user Twitter? According to PEW, minority female tech enthusiasts, 18-29 years old, living in urban settings. If this is your audience, use Twitter. If not, look at the numbers and see how your audience fits in. Twitter still may be a good bet for you, especially if you tweet about technology and news. If you use Twitter, send me a tweet @Screen_Space, with your thoughts on this or leave me a comment! Do you use Twitter?

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