Twitter’s IPO filing had very few surprises.
If there’s anything that’s surprising, it’s how small Twitter is in real life. On the web, it feels like Twitter is everywhere. But in the U.S., for instance, Twitter had only 49 million monthly active users on average during the second quarter of this year. And that was only up a million from the previous quarter.
For comparison, Facebook had 198 million monthly users on average in the same period. We’re focusing on the U.S. because the U.S. is the home base for both companies, and in the case of Twitter 88% of its ad revenue came from the U.S.
Twitter is a different sort of social network than Facebook so the comparisons aren’t perfect. But the gap between Facebook and Twitter is illustrative.
Twitter is a wonderful service for broadcasting news and random thoughts. It is not a good place for slow, personal information, or a good place to go at the end of the day to catch up, like Facebook. It’s too high octane, too frenetic. Twitter has a smaller, highly engaged user base. Either you live in Twitter, or you don’t.
Right now, most people don’t.