Study finds few people are ‘True Twitter Users’

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Although Twitter is growing at a rapid rate, a new study from Barracuda Networks claims a relatively small number of the social network’s users are ‘True Twitter Users.’

Barracuda Networks defines a True Twitter User as a person who has at least 10 followers, follows 10 people, and has updated their status with at least 10 tweets. After analyzing more than 19 million Twitter accounts, it found that only 21% of the social network’s users fell into that category. The remaining 79% lacked at least one of the three requirements.

As popular as Twitter has become, there is still a large discrepancy between the number of people who have a large follower count and those that don’t. The study found that 17% of Twitter users have no followers. A whopping 74% of Twitter users have less than 10 followers.

That said, those numbers are an improvement. In June 2009, 30% of the site’s users lacked a follower and 80% had fewer than 10 followers.


Researchers also found that much of Twitter’s growth can be attributed to celebrities. After examining Twitter’s growth in 2009, Barracuda found that there was a ‘Red Carpet Era’ between November 2008 and April 2009 when celebrities and their fans starting moving to the social network in droves. During that period, 49% of Twitter’s current user base joined the site.

Another interesting fact: during the Red Carpet Era, one in eight new Twitter accounts was ‘malicious, suspicious, or otherwise misused.’

— Don Reisinger