Though the number of new Twitter users has remained more or less stagnant since 2011, the number of daily users has doubled as more people own smartphones that can more conveniently use the service, according to the latest data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The company began its study of Twitter in 2010, when 8 percent of Internet users were on the social service. That number increased to 13 percent in May of 2011, and only nominally improved to 15 percent in February of 2012. More telling, however, are the number of daily users on Twitter, which was 2 percent in 2010, increased to 4 percent in May of 2011, and doubled at 8 percent in February of 2012. The daily use of young users has also doubled, with one in five Internet users ages 18 to 24 using Twitter everyday, up from 9 percent in May of 2011. Daily use for the mid-20’s to early 30’s range also doubled from 5 percent in May of 2011 to 11 percent in February of 2012.
Most of that daily use comes from the growing usage of Twitter on mobile devices.
“We can also see this relationship between youth, mobility and Twitter use when looking specifically at Twitter use on mobile phones,” the report stated. “Twitter usage is highly correlated with the use of mobile technologies, especially smartphones. One in five smartphone owners (20 percent) are Twitter users, with 13 percent using the service on a typical day. By contrast, internet users who own more basic mobile phones are roughly half as likely to use Twitter overall (9 percent do so), and just 3 percent of these more basic phone owners are “typical day” users.”
The demographics of Twitter has mostly stabilized, with wide adaptation by African Americans and young people. Nearly 28 percent of African American Internet users have used Twitter, and 13 percent use it daily. More than a quarter of Internet users ages 18 to 29 use the site, close to twice as many for the ages 30 to 49. Nearly a third of users ages 18 to 24 use the site at 31 percent, up from 18 percent in May of 2011 and 16 percent in late 2010. Only 4 percent of those 65 and older have ever used the site.
Usage tends to be slightly higher among the mid-affluent and low income compared to the middle class. Nearly 19 percent of Internet users making less than $30,000 a year use Twitter, while 17 percent of those earning more than $75,000 use the service, compared to 12 percent for $30,000 to $49,999, and 14 percent for $50,000 to $74,999.