Twitter Has Less Than 21 Million “Active” Users

SAI chart Twitter following

The other day, we asked: How many active users does Twitter REALLY have?

Thanks to a source with full access to Twitter’s API, we were able to report there are 56 million accounts on Twitter following 8 or more accounts.

We came up with that number, 8 accounts followed, because at Facebook, they believe that a user is not going to end up sticking around unless they make friends with 10 people.

But it turns out that Twitter doesn’t actually count a user as “active” until they are following many more than 8 accounts.

Josh Elman, Twitter’s”product lead in charge of user retention,” told AllThingsD as much March:

Elman, whose goal is to make Twitter users stick around, said his team has identified an “aha moment” when a casual user turns into an “active user.” That moment happens when users follow 30 accounts, and when one-third of the people they follow also follow them back.

So, how many such “active” Twitter users are there?

Less than 21 million.

Our source’s API data shows that there are 21 million accounts on Twitter following 32 or more accounts. Some subset of these accounts are also being followed by 10 accounts.

Some context:

  • Facebook has more than 600 million monthly active users.
  • MySpace reached 44 million people in the US in January.
  • The Huffington Post reaches 30 million people each month.

Related: CHART OF THE DAY: How Many Users Does Twitter REALLY Have?