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Surprising Twitter Usage Statistics

Today’s Boston Globe published some interesting Twitter statistics that were compiled from the Pew Research Center. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Twitter is used by 13% of online US adults, up from 8% in November 2010
  • Twitter usage has doubled since late 2010 for those ages 25 to 34 to 19%
  • Usage has increased to 14% for those ages 35 to 44
  • Usage for people aged 55 to 64 has doubled to 8%
  • 25% of African Americans use Twitter versus 9% usage for white Americans

As of a year ago (I haven’t seen anything more recent on the topic) Republicans are out-tweeting Democrats, which at first seemed to me to be counterintuitive since Democrats used the tool so effectively as part of their 2008 presidential election social media strategy. But, as Republicans are now in the underdog position, they appear to be using all the means at their disposal to effect change.

I think there are a few interesting things about these statistics. The first is the high rate of growth in usage in just 6 months, despite the fact that Twitter has been around for a couple of years now. I guess I expected that the rate of growth would have been leveling off by now. The second is the relatively high usage rate as a percentage of the entire online U.S. population. To me, this indicates that Twitter is effectively moving from a niche activity that is only popular with techies or twentysomethings, to something more mainstream.

Does your business use Twitter? While an active Twitter account is probably not essential to most businesses at this time, it is becoming an increasingly effective way to reach potential clients and customers – even if your company’s target market isn’t part of the young, techie crowd.