Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tweet Then Retreat?

We've all done it - signed up for something, tried it a few times, and then promptly moved on to the next thing. Danny over at Digital Dirt would probably agree that this only adds to our online trail, but beyond that, we can also be seriously skewing numbers for social media services like Twitter.

Nielson Online released a report yesterday that said that "currently, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month, making them 'Twitter Quitters.'" I kind of love that they coined that term, even though it has some serious implications for one of my new favorite social media tools. This is a huge number of people opening accounts and not returning regularly, and even though total number of users are largely unknown (I have seen estimates from 5 million to 19 after the big celebrity showdowns of the last few weeks) the service is still trying to attract marketers and generate revenue, both of which could be seriously compromised if it looks like the lights are on, but nobodies home.

When compared to Facebook and MySpace when they were growing their audiences, Twitter's retention rate numbers look even more woeful:

I am still pretty optimistic though, so don't fret my tweeps - Twitter, in my opinion, is an entirely different animal. While many join to see what its all about, they lose interest when there is no one there to talk to. As more and more people join, those who lost interest will probably give it another go.

As I've mentioned, I joined in order to communicate with a group, and that is what kept me going. Now that friends, colleagues and fun celebrities are in the mix, I am fairly addicted. So no worries, Twitter, they'll come back...they always do.