Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How many users does Twitter have?

A nice power law looking graph from Business Insider on the properties of Twitter users, and about 175 million Twitter accounts have been registered to date. But how many of those accounts are actually active and being used? Hard to say it seems. The article reports on digging into the Twitter API and finding that

Using data that is now just one month old, he found out that…

  • There were 119 million Twitter accounts following one or more other accounts.
  • There were 85 million accounts with one ore more followers.

With these figures, and Twitter's claim of 175 million accounts, a little subtraction shows us that there are 56 million Twitter accounts following zero other accounts, and 90 million Twitter accounts with zero followers.



Carlton said...

Can't we say that all of these websites massively inflate their numbers? On facebook there are two of my accounts, plus I believe another which I made to trick someone. My mother has two accounts. These numbers are not included when facebook boasts of its 600 million users.

Dr. Luke O'Connor said...

Yes the raw numbers need to be interpreted which is what the article has tried to do. As with most things, there is a power law in operation where activity is driven by relatively few users.