back to article Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS

You would be forgiven for thinking that Twitter users don't know when to shut up, but in fact the opposite is actually true. New data has revealed that some 44 per cent of the world's 974 million Twitter accounts have never even sent a tweet. The figures come from Twopcharts, which tracks activity on the microblogging service …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    44 per cent of the world's 974 million Twitter accounts have never even sent a tweet

    Then if you remove the 20% that are spambots and the 5% that just tweet about one direction and justice beaver you are still left with an impressive active userbase, but nowhere near as big as the claimed figure that was used to prop up the IPO.

    Even though there are signs they are amending the site to 'monetize it' I really can't see where twitter will make their money. Slight profits are possible, but a lot of investors are going to get burnt.

    No doubt Zukerburg will hoover it up for a couple of billion worth of Facebook stock toilet roll in a couple of years and start charging people for the 'privilege' to tweet a Kardashian or a Hilton

    1. Matt 21

      My reading of the article suggests only 542.1 million accounts have ever sent a tweet and only 23 percent of those have tweeted in the last month. Which gives 124.7 million. If you then start to remove the ones who send less than 100 tweets and then, as you suggest, the ones who tweet about one direction etc. then it look to me that you could well be talking about less than 50 million which isn't a great deal is it? Imagine how many fewer there'd be if the BBC didn't push it all the time.

  2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    That's better than I expected then

    44 per cent? That's better than I expected. Not everyone has something interesting to say, and even though these 44% are probably a tiny portion or the users who don't, it's still good to know that almost half of Twitter's users know when to sut up. Now for the other half...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      its just a new type of RSS feed

      I use the stupid thing to get info about my fav. ice hockey team and the score, and to know when the trains are stopped for whatever reason. Can't be bothered actually writing something.

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: That's better than I expected then

      Not everyone has something interesting to say,

      ...but sadly in some higher profile cases, that doesn't stop them doing so anyway.

      The missus is one of the silent majority, but only because the kids school decided it would be the best way to send out updates etc when they are off on school trips etc. Makes sense as a notification board type use, but of course is rather sporadic and occasional.

  3. knarf

    That many!!!

    Does having your phone automatically login in twitter even if you don't use it count as an active user?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have a point..

    .. I have a logon somewhere which very occasionally pops up a message that I want to look at - at which point I have probably been labelled an "active" user despite sending maybe the grand total of 10 tweets on that account. I'm simply not interested, and as an introvert I really don't have this compelling need to have stalkers followers, so I'm rather happy to ignore it :).

  5. Peter Storm

    Only 44%?

    Still, it's nice to know there's something for everyone on the interwebs.

    Even those with an over inflated sense of their own importance and the sycophants who grovel before them.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: Only 44%?

      Surely it must be more than that? The silent 44% are dummies set up solely to boost someone else's follower count and of that 56% who do tweet half exist purely for fake sycophantic replies and retweets to further "improve" the standing of the real user.

      Twitter has always struck me as being an incredibly narcissistic premise to begin with, there must be a hell of a lot of self-flattery underlying their usage statistics.

      1. Psyx

        Re: Only 44%?

        "Twitter has always struck me as being an incredibly narcissistic premise to begin with, there must be a hell of a lot of self-flattery underlying their usage statistics."

        Well...yeah. It's shouting to the world that you've just bought a new toothbrush in the hope that dozens [millions in some cases] will be excited to hear this utterly boring piece of news about you.

        But people are narcissistic. So it works.

  6. NogginTheNog

    Twitter = marketing and PR

    Never been on Twitter, never signed up, possibly never will.

    As far as I can tell from the people and places that seem to mention the platform Twitter seems to be primarily used by famous peeps and companies to spread the word about themselves, or their products, or whatever it is they're pushing at the time.

    If the company wants to make some money maybe it could start by charging them all a bit?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Twitter = marketing and PR

      "Never been on Twitter, never signed up, possibly never will.", "As far as I can tell..."

      So....how can you tell ANYTHING at all, or feel informed enough to comment, given you first statement?

      Back to article. A more interesting figure would be how many people receive Tweets. I know that I receive a hell of a lot more than I send, as I use it mainly to keep abreast of things I am interested in. It's not just celebs and companies...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Twitter = marketing and PR

        So....how can you tell ANYTHING at all, or feel informed enough to comment, given you first statement?

        Well, I've used twitter. And I feel informed enough to think that about 80% of it's use is self-promotion.

        I'd be interested to know the other reasons why a person actually puts things on twitter.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Twitter = marketing and PR

          Good - at least you have experience of it before commenting which means your comment is entirely valid.

          80%? Seems about right to me. But the other 20% is still pretty useful. Careful pruning of followed accounts should keep you in that 20% and still have more stuff to read than hours in the day.

          As for my tweets - generally to announce changes to software I work on for Raspi cameras. Not self promotion, but certainly promotion of a sort. It's a good mechanism to announce changes.

        2. Psyx

          Re: Twitter = marketing and PR

          "I'd be interested to know the other reasons why a person actually puts things on twitter."

          1) Because some people like entertaining others and making them laugh.

          Yes, Twitter is a massive marketing tool and used for self-promotion, but there are a lot of people on there who simply enjoy sharing a bit of mirth/sarcasm/stupidity.

          2) Some people don't live in the free world, with free press, or a right to protest. Twitter is a valuable tool for sharing information, organising protest and getting news out of war-torn sh*t-holes.

          Even if traffic from '1' and '2' are only TWO percent of Tweets, it's still worth having in our world.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: Twitter = marketing and PR

      Of course it's marketing and PR. Just like 85%, or more, of the entire tech sector is PR & marketing. Computers were around for a long time before Windows you know. Marketing & PR is why you are reading, poorly, and posting on this very site! Neat huh?!?!

      Texas Instruments made a big deal out of selling calculators to average people in the '70's and I've still got an internal 'joke' brochure they did up making fun of people for buying more computing power than they would need to managed their lifetime income and budgets. It even talks about how they've saved money by limiting the display size because normal people don't understand numbers that large.

      Same with the computer in your house: Marketing success story! That's why tablets have taken off, people don't want to do anything with their tech, they want to consume with their tech and guess how the masses know what they want to consume? That's right! Marketing and PR.

  7. Semtex451 Silver badge

    I blame the BBC and others for encouraging Twitter adoption by referencing it in various shows at every opportunity. Might explain a portion of those non - contributing users.

    It has never felt right to me, that they should advertise Twitter. But I suppose the Media-types just think "its like email isn't it?"

    tut

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Half of all of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS

      Well the BBC likes to think it's with it, with it's finger on the pulse of everything new and trendy.

  8. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ Semtex451

    "I blame the BBC and others for encouraging Twitter adoption by referencing it in various shows at every opportunity."

    I agree. The winter Olympics coverage on the BBC became nigh on unwatchable due to all of the enforced "hashtag this" and "hashtag that" and "hashtag x" and "hashtag y" crap being spewed.

    1. Psyx

      Re: @ Semtex451

      What pisses me off more is the BBC constantly referring to tweets in stories. It's fucking lazy journalism.

  9. Inachu

    I signed up then forgot the password to my account then also forgot the password to my email so that is why I have never sent anything.

    I know... Sad.

  10. Stretch

    241 million users is a joke. They don't even have 2 million. More likely 241 million requests for pages were served that month. And each of those is an "active user", right?

  11. southpacificpom
    Coat

    Twat

    What a twat you are if you don't tweet on Twitter terribly often...

  12. Sandra Greer

    Twitter is for the birds

    I actually used it for a time when following some nesting owls on bird cams - the discussion was carried out on Twitter. I haven't used it since then, although I have probably been zombie following a couple of science sites (too much bother to check it out as it flows by like a river of sewage).

  13. Jim 59

    Twitter

    A bit of silent running on Twitter might not come to badly for El Reg, considering some of the headbanging tweets published in their name.

  14. Yugguy

    Doesnt surprise me. Same as facebook. I have a zombiefied facebook account I never use but haven't deleted as I can't be bothered wading through the collosal ballache it would be to fully delete it.

    Users like these should be discounted from the true stats of active users.

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