Twitter, at least for those who use it heavily is changing the way we communicate online. The social networking aspect is creating new relationships, whilst the always on nature means that you often hear about big news stories first on Twitter.
TechCrunch France editor Ouriel Ohayon like a growing number of people loves Twitter, but he is (well, I thought initially) fairly unique because has more than one Twitter account. Ouriel decided to run a small poll to see if others had more than one account. Although a small sample size, he was far from alone. According to his poll, the majority of Twitter users (53%) have more than one Twitter account.
Being naturally skeptical I didn’t believe him, so I polled some people on Twitter directly. I was wrong. Around half of those people who responded said that they had more than one Twitter account, with many having three or more. There were various reasons given for the additional accounts. Some had additional accounts for their businesses, ones where they may post items exclusively business related for those who are interested. These accounts also included automated accounts as well, for example an account that pulls data from an RSS feed.
Then there were some other more interesting uses for multiple accounts. Some were using the additional account like a RSS reader, subscribing to business and other Twitter accounts that provide topical news within a particular niche or interest area. Some used an additional account for a circle of friends where they could privately discuss items they didn’t want the entire world reading (Twitter allows for private/ invitation only settings.) One Twitter user even told me he has the extra accounts because he’s name squatting.
Most mainstream Twitter clients don’t support multiple accounts so these Twitter users were accessing their additional accounts via the web page.
I’m still not completely convinced that the majority of Twitter users would have more than one account, but certainly it would appear to be a growing trend. I’m also not about to go and sign up for additional accounts quite yet either, one Twitter account is hard enough to manage as it is, although I can see some of the benefits. The RSS reader/ news style use in particular could change the way we currently manage information if eventually there’s enough people using Twitter this way, and enough data available to make it a significant force.
If you’re a Twitter user: