The recent Pew study about Twitter usage revealed a few interesting things.
First, only 8% of American adults use Twitter. This is more evidence that, despite its enormous popularity among tech and media folks–and its massive global user numbers–Twitter has yet to go mainstream.
Second, fully half of these Twitter users basically never listen to a word anyone else says. In other words, half of Twitter users use Twitter as a sort of digital closet that they go into once in a while to mutter to themselves, with no one else listening.
Photo: Pew Research
Third, less than a quarter of Twitter users, meanwhile, or 2% of American adults, are heavy Twitter users, using Twitter the way many tech and media folks do: Obsessively checking it several times a day to watch the news go by.
If Twitter’s goal is to become the world’s biggest media company, these trends need to change. More people need to start using Twitter to consume media, not just tout it or create it. The service’s user growth is phenomenal, but it’s hard to build a big business around people talking to themselves.
(Of course, that said, much of what big traditional media companies do is talk to themselves with no one listening, so perhaps this isn’t such a problem after all).
Here are some other cool facts from the Pew study:
- 72% of Twitter users in our sample say that they post updates related to their personal life, activities or interests. A total of one-in-five Twitter users (19%) say they post personal updates once a day or more.
- 62% of those we queried said they post updates related to their work life, activities or interests, with 12% doing so on a daily basis.
- 55% of these Twitter users share links to news stories. About one in 10 (12%) do this at least once a day.
- 54% of these Twitter users say they post humorous or philosophical observations about life in general, with 16% doing so on a daily basis.
- 53% of these Twitter users use Twitter to retweet material posted by others, with 18% doing so on a daily basis.
- 52% of these Twitter users send direct messages to other users, with 11% doing so on a daily basis.
- 40% use Twitter to share photos with others, with 12% going so at least once a day.
- 28% use Twitter to share videos with others. Fewer than one-in-10 Twitter users (8%) do this once a day or more.
- 24% use the service to tweet their location, with 7% of users doing so on a daily basis.
Follow Henry Blodget on Twitter: @hblodget
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.