A recent study found that the average Twitter user is an American Woman with an iPhone, 208 followers and a purple Twitter background. Well, my background isn’t purple and I have nearly 2,000 followers but I am a woman on an iPhone.
The study also found that a whopping 25% of people that have signed up for Twitter have never even sent out a single Tweet. I’m certainly not THAT person. In fact, when I tweeted that specific stat I received an immediate response from Raccoon Willie who said, “@EricaButeau …then why call them ‘users’?” To which I responded, “Excellent Point! #lurkers” Why would someone sign up for Twitter and then never use it again?
I have a few followers that I know personally that have signed up, followed me and maybe one or two other users and then disappeared. Perhaps my tweet feed on Facebook sent them to Twitter where they were prompted to create an account in order to follow me. And, then they lost interest. I suspect that a handful of other “users” have signed up for Twitter and either forgotten about it or lost their password.
I suppose, no harm, no foul since they aren’t spamming me. But, I do wonder how these ghost users skew studies specifically about Twitter. For example, in the above mentioned study, it was noted that female users were significantly more active than male users. You have to wonder, then, what percentage of these inactive “users” are male. Something to chew on.
Another interesting tid bit from the study was the finding that the more followers a user has, the more tweets they publish. But, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Do active users feel a sense of obligation or responsibility to continue sharing information with their followers? Or, do more followers come from more activity? What do you think?