The state of the Twittersphere, February 2011


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The state of the Twittersphere, February 2011

  1. 1. The state of the Twittersphere February 2011 Where are we now?© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  2. 2. Contents •  Introduction •  The big picture •  How does Twitter compare to Facebook? •  Personalities and content trends •  Beyond •  Appendix© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  3. 3. Introduction This is an overview of Twitter in February 2011 using statistics, tools and freely available information. The purpose in it’s writing was to get myself up to speed with the latest data and to understand as near as possible how Twitter is being used today, rather than last month or last year. It was put together in preparation for a training course for business users, so the emphasis of research leans towards corporate and organisational usage, but I hope as a result also covers other areas. Kathryn Corrick, February 2011 @kcorrick© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  4. 4. The big picture© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  5. 5. (circa) 200 million Number of Twitter registered accounts January 2011 Source: accounts/© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  6. 6. (circa) 110 million Tweets per day 1 January 2011 Source: tweets-per-day-focuses-on-global-expansion/© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  7. 7. (circa) 14 million Daily active Twitter accounts And about 40 million active accounts monthly January 2011 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  8. 8. 78 per cent Of users access Twitter via The total figure for apps accessing Twitter is over 100% as many users access their account by more than one application September 2010 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  9. 9. 8.2 million Number of Twitter accounts following Lady Gaga, the most followed account on the service 16 February 2011 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  10. 10. 605 Number of tweets by Lady Gaga 16 February 2011 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  11. 11. 22.5% Of Twitter users accounted for about 90% of all activity during 2010. Sysomos – December 2010 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  12. 12. profile for* January 2011 27,985,892 – unique visitors 183,876,953 – visits Rank – 30 *Does not include visits via Twitter clients and applications Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  13. 13. Google Trends gives an indication of where visits originate for* Most unique visits to come from Japan *Does not include visits via Twitter clients and applications Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  14. 14. Origin of Google searches for Twitter Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  15. 15. Seven No. of languages the platform is translated into: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish January 2011 Twitter Translation Centre launched 14 February 2011 to crowdsource translations of the site into more languages, first up – Indonesian, Russian and Turkish. To join go to: Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  16. 16. 6,939 Tweets per second sent When midnight struck, 1 January 2011 in Japan Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  17. 17. 4,064 Tweets per second sent at 10.07pm (EST) during the US Superbowl February 2011 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  18. 18. 69 per cent Twitter users who provide a biography on their Twitter profile Sysomos - December 2010 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  19. 19. From Jan – Aug 2010 new users accounted for nearly 44% of the total Twitter population Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011 stats-2010/
  20. 20. Top Twitter cities London top Twitter city. Rankings are by and are total number of twitter users based on the ‘Location’ setting. According to Sysomos only 73% of users in 2010 had a location on their profile Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  21. 21. How does Twitter compare to Facebook? (This data is now a bit old, but it’s still just about relevant) A breakdown of 2010 social demographics Brand engagement According to this research, on Twitter 25% of users follow a brand (40% for Facebook) but 67% of those users will purchase that specific brand (51% for Facebook) Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  22. 22. Twitter, Facebook & YouTube compared using Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  23. 23. Personalities and content trends Entertainment is gaining ground Watching television and tweeting more common Sport finds a natural home Politics still much discussed© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  24. 24. Top ten most followed accounts (16/02/2011) Other than Barak Obama the top ten most followed accounts on Twitter are from the world of entertainment - popstars and chat show hosts from North America. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  25. 25. How does Lady Gaga use Twitter? Mostly for broadcast, she’s not very conversational, but has a high reach and high potential level of amplification Sources:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  26. 26. And what does her immediate network look like? Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  27. 27. And what of UK users? (16/02/2011) This is where things get a bit muddy. Twitter lists user locations by city and country. In London Coldplay tops the list with 3.4 million followers but search for United Kingdom and Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown) comes top with 1.1 million followers, putting her above Chris Moyles if she were located in London. But note once again, entertainment pre-dominates, with a splash of Tech in the form of Tweetdeck, which has a US as well as UK audience. United Kingdom - London -© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  28. 28. And who is following the most people? Here entertainment gets knocked off top spot, enter – politics and commerce. In the lead, it’s Barack Obama following over 700,000 other Twitter users. With Whole Foods, and a surprise of Yoko Ono in second and third, both following over 500,000 accounts. But look, the UK’s most famous black door features in fourth place. Question is; with such numbers in play reading those streams will be nearer to a firehose of information than anything else. Obama’s account is almost purely broadcast, where as Wholefoods do reply and interact with fellow Twitter users, Number10’s stream is a mix of it’s own messages and retweets of other departments. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  29. 29. A different story: TwitterGrader’s UK Elite aims to measure the power, reach and authority of a twitter account* – rather than simply numbers of followers. Their ranking of UK accounts shows a tendency towards news sites and a few unexpected personalities such as speaker Mark Clayson and Robin Hood airport tweeter Graham Lineham. *See appendix for details on the algorithm Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  30. 30. What was everyone talking about in 2010? After using hashtags (which apply to all topics), globally entertainment was the top category trend in 2010, followed by sports, according to What The Trend. Source - WTT_2010_Top_Trend_Categories.png© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  31. 31. And in 2009? Hashtags were far less used. Business and tech took up a greater volume of discussion (at 11% as compared to 3% in 2010) WTT_2009_Top_Trend_Categories.png© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  32. 32. Within entertainment which topics were top? As is already becoming clear from who is followed on Twitter, music is big on Twitter and one of the largest entertainment topics, followed by television and films. With the decline of MySpace this perhaps may become more significant as time goes on. And, whilst Lady Gaga may have the highest following on Twitter, Justin Bieber is talked about more. WTT_2010_Top_Entertainment_Topics.png© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  33. 33. More specifically?© Kathryn Corrick 2011 Source:
  34. 34. Trending topics in London Evening, 16 February 2011 •  #masterchef - tv •  #verysexy - hashtag •  Nou Camp - football •  #barcelona - football •  Valdes - football •  Alex Song - football •  Jack Wilshere - football •  Abel Xavier - football •  Piqué - football •  Shakira - pop Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  35. 35. … I think there was a match on. (and is not sport also entertainment?)© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  36. 36. What do these trending topics perhaps indicate? •  The increase in hashtag usage indicates a greater understanding in how the platform can work for communal conversations •  The live nature of watching sport lends itself to Twitter •  A greater increase in the user base towards the mainstream, with a lower percentage of discussions on topics of technology and business* •  Most of the trending entertainment topics are for mainstream culture – be they popstars, tv programmes or films. Which leads us to conclude that Twitter has become a more mainstream platform over the last year •  The entertainment topics also lean towards youth culture, which may also indicate as much about how Twitter is being taken up and used by younger demographics, as it does how large this user group may be. •  That Avatar trended in 2010 is no surprise given it’s box office sales, yet that it was talked about less than Scott Pilgrim indicates that tweet volume ≠ sales. *Note: this doesn’t mean the platform is no longer suitable for these discussions, merely that other topics have increased.© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  37. 37. This leads us to ask: who contributed most on Twitter to trending topics in 2010? According to What The Trend the most active contributors to Twitter are based in the US, UK, Brazil, Canada and Japan. But note… The smaller populated country of the Netherlands is at number eight, and Indonesia (which has a population of nearly 230 million) is in at nine. China and India with the largest populations are not in the top ten. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  38. 38. Top brand accounts according to – February 2011 1.  BBCWorld 2.  FoxNews 3.  G1 (Globo) 4.  NYTimes 5.  BBC Breaking News 6.  Huffington Post 7.  Reuters 8.  Engadget 9.  ESPN 10.  Mashable All news sites. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  39. 39. Global non-tech brand trends in 2010 Here we see the success of Uniqlo’s UK Twitter marketing campaigns in 2010, Lavin’s male collection for H&M, as the well as the wide-spread discussion of the Cadbury/Kraft take-over. Not perhaps what you’d immediately expect. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  40. 40. Beyond in 2011 The success of Twitter has been it’s open developer platform, API and the fairly conceptually simple communication platform that Twitter provides, enabling may other services to sit on top.© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  41. 41. How is Twitter accessed? (September 2010) The chart shows the top ten applications used to access Twitter in the 30 days prior to 2 September 2010. Applications that access Twitter total over 100% as some users use more than one application to access their account. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  42. 42. “And, it should be underscored that users of programs like TweetDeck are some of the most active and frequent users—which is why, along with the nature of how these clients work, a disproportionate amount of the traffic from Twitter runs through such tools.” - Twitter blog, September 2010 Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  43. 43. The number of registered OAuth applications is now at almost 300,000 - September 2010 Note: This can include multiple instances of the same software Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  44. 44. Mobile access? In September 2010 Twitter announced: •  46 per cent of active users made mobile a regular part of their Twitter experience •  Total mobile users had jumped 62 per cent since mid-April 2010 •  16 per cent of all new users to Twitter start on mobile Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  45. 45. The Twitter ecosystem of services and applications A diagramatic overview of Twitter services and applications by US based Brian Solis and Jess3. (See next slide for breakdown of rings and types of service) Interactive version: twitterverse© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  46. 46. Brian Solis & Jess3 Twitterverse rings •  Branding •  Communication •  Geographics management •  Interest graph •  Research & analysis •  Stream management •  Dashboard •  Mobile applications •  Event management •  Trends •  Live streaming •  Social CRM •  Geo-location •  Influence and •  Relationships resonance •  Marketing & •  Twitter search advertising •  Causation (charity •  Rich media causes) Note: the basic function of sharing and tweeting content from other services, such as Tumblr, WordPress and Flickr, seems to have been omitted from the diagram, but is often key to connecting communities with content, and increasing reach. Source:© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  47. 47. This is just scraping the surface Whilst these statistics give some indications of the extent to which Twitter is being used in 2010 and early 2011, they are simply scraping the surface. Not mentioned here are a long list of ways Twitter is being used as a communication platform - from activism to watching and participating in television programs – but I hope it’s brought a few statistics together and joined a few dots.© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  48. 48. Appendix© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  49. 49. Sources© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  50. 50. More Twitter analysis tools To analyse Twitter accounts Link Trends Tweets per minute by city in real-time Tweets by country© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  51. 51. algorithm factors 1. Number of Followers: More followers leads to a higher Twitter Grade (all other things being equal). Yes, I agree that it’s easy to game this number, but we are looking at measuring reach and I did say all other things being equal. 2. Power of Followers: If you have people with a high Twitter Grade following you, it counts more than those with a low Twitter Grade following you. It’s a bit recursive, and we don’t get carried away with it, but it helps. 3. Updates: More updates generally leads to a higher grade — within reason. This does not mean you should be tweeting like a manic squirrel cranked up on caffeine and sugar. It won’t help either your Twitter Grade or your overall happiness in life. 4. Update Recency: Users that are more current (i.e. time elapsed since last tweet is low) generally get higher grades. 5. Follower/Following Ratio: The higher the ratio, the better. However, the weight of this particular factor decreases as the user accrues points for other factors (so, once a user gets to a high level of followers or a high level of engagement, the Follower/Following ratio counts less). 6. Engagement: The more a given user’s tweets are being retweeted, the more times the user is being referenced or cited, the higher the twitter grade. Further, the value of the engagement is higher based on who is being engaged. If a user with a very high Twitter Grade retweets, it counts more than if a spammy account with a very low grade retweets. Calculate-Twitter-Rankings© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  52. 52. What is OAuth? OAuth is an authentication protocol that allows users to approve an application to act on their behalf without sharing their password. More information can be found at or in the excellent Beginners Guide to OAuth from Hueniverse.© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  53. 53. Picture credits 98389526@N00/2261679314/ 98389526@N00/5451441412/ 98389526@N00/4957438604© Kathryn Corrick 2011
  54. 54. Questions? @kcorrick Admin[at]© Kathryn Corrick 2011