According to a recent Pew Internet study, only 8% of online Americans use Twitter, but they aren't all active users.

When we think of social media, two names come as synonyms for it -- Facebook (news, site) and Twitter (news, site). The two most popular social media sites have millions of users and sometimes it gives us the false impression that the whole world revolves around them.

Twitter – More Hype Than a Real Thing?

Social media, Twitter included, did change the world, but how much is the hype around it? A recent survey by Pew Internet comes with interesting findings. There might be millions of registered accounts, but the percentage of individuals who regularly use Twitter is surprisingly low. Only 8 per cent of online Americans have a Twitter account.

Having in mind that about 74 per cent of adult Americans are online, this translates to 6 per cent of the general population. This isn't exactly the whole world (or the whole of US of A), right? Sure, there will never be times when 100 per cent of Americans or of any other nation are on Twitter but when only 6 per cent of the nation is registered with it (which of course is much more than the percentage of users registered at most other sites) isn't this a bit of hype about its role?

What is more, as the survey shows, about half of Twitter users check their accounts every few weeks, less often or never. You don't call this frequency regular use, do you?

Twitter Survey Activity.jpg

I am not saying that despite all the dead souls on it, Twitter isn't a popular service. The fact that about 2% of all Americans use it on a daily basis is an achievement many other sites can only dream of. Rather, my point is that Twitter isn't as popular as hype makes it.

Learning Opportunities

On the positive site, the demographics of Twitter users is good for business because they are predominantly young, educated and urban, as you can see from the table below:

Twitter Survey demographics.jpg

Do Not Bet The Life of Your Business on Twitter

The facts from the survey aren't meant to communicate that Twitter is a useless service. If your target audience is on Twitter and you are getting decent traffic from it there is nothing wrong if you continue to use it as part of your social activities.

For many companies Twitter is an important part of their media strategy and sometimes it is even the main, if not sole, media outlet. If results prove that Twitter is working for you, stick with it but have in mind that despite all the buzz around it, Twitter is just one of the many social sites out there. So don't bet the life of your business solely on Twitter.