Twitter And The Nine-Month Bounce

I’ve long suspected that the basic usage pattern for Twitter is that people try it, don’t get it or become discouraged because they don’t know anyone else on it, but it grows on them eventually until they start using it every day. Many people, of course, never come back, but for those who do, they need to get past that familiarity curve before it becomes an essential communications tool.

Now I have some data to back up my theory. Social media analytics company Sysomos just released some data based on its analysis of over one billion Tweets which shows the contribution of updates by how long people have been on the service. The most active users are those who joined Twitter more than nine months ago. They account for 41.6 percent of all Tweets.

New users are also active as they try to figure out the service, with newbies who joined less than 3 months ago contributing 22 percent of all Tweets. Then it falls to 15.9 percent of all Tweets for people who joined between 3 and 6 months ago (the trough of discouragement), and 20.5 percent of all Tweets for those who joined 6 to 9 months ago. The trend is pretty consistent. There is a big bounce in Tweets from people who managed to stick around more than nine months.

Sysomos’ data also shows that international growth is outpacing the U.S., with the growth in Tweets hitting 8 percent overseas, compared to 5 percent in the U.S. so far in March. That is down from 13 percent and 10 percent growth, respectively, in January.

In terms of total Tweets, Sysomos estimates there are now 53 million Tweets a day, which is up 30 percent since December, 2009. Twitter passed the 50-million Tweet mark about a month ago. (You can read more analysis of Sysomos Twitter user data from last year here).