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Twitter Users Are Not Tweeting

TwitterNew research shows that almost half of Twitter’s users are not tweeting. The research was done by Twopcharts, and shows that 44 percent of Twitter users have never sent a tweet. Some sources feel this is disastrous news for Twitter, while others think it is Twitter doing exactly what it is designed to do.

Some feel that active and participating users are the most beneficial to Twitter. Those who feel this way are calling the issue a problem for Twitter, pointing out that these 44 percent of users may be completely inactive accounts. They cite activity as a way to encourage continued use. Some are using this research as evidence that almost half of the individuals who have opened Twitter accounts do not use Twitter at all.

Others are saying that is inaccurate. Twopcharts, who put out the research information, is a website that monitors Twitter’s activity. There may be a flaw in this research, Twopcharts can only monitor when accounts tweet, retweet, or favorite something. Twopcharts cannot monitor when an account was last logged in. This may mean that there are millions of Twitter users who log in to Twitter frequently, and find it to be a beneficial source, but do not tweet.

There are 500 million new tweets appearing on Twitter daily, even with 44 percent of Twitter users not tweeting. This could be exactly what Twitter is made to do. There is a 90-9-1 rule that is applied to social media. This rule states that 90 percent of the users are silent. They log in, observe what is going on, get information, but they are passive. There are nine percent that contribute to what other people are posting. They make comments, and like or favorite things, but they rarely post anything new themselves. Then there is the one percent. The one percent are the active participants, and they account for the majority of the participation.

Another reason why this may seem like a problem to some is because Twitter is often compared to Facebook, even though they are designed very differently. Facebook is a social media network where people who interact typically know each other. This means that people probably use Facebook and Twitter very differently. If an individual does not participate on Facebook, there is a good chance that the user is not very active. On the other hand, Twitter offers a different service. A service where one individual speaks to many people at once, most of them unknown to each other, which means a Twitter user who does not tweet does not equal inactivity.

The one percent of Twitter users who actively post are made up of mostly of celebrities and journalists. This means that Twitter users who do not Tweet can still be using the service to get news information, or keep up-to-date with their favorite actor. It is plausible that these Twitter accounts are actively logging in, and passively participating by only observing.

Twitter has not commented on the new research that shows almost half of Twitter users are not tweeting. A spokesman from Twitter said that Twitter does not comment on third-party research. Twitter Inc. closed the week down on the Stock Exchange at $40.05, which is a 3.12 percent drop.

By Ashley Campbell

WSJ Digits