There has been a lot of talk circulating the Internet over the past few days about 8 percent of Americans being on Twitter. While that number is huge, in and of itself, what is more interesting is in how the Twitter community as a whole uses the service. Or maybe the right term here is doesn’t use the service.
By the graph, nearly half of all Twitter users rarely (if ever) check the material that is posted from others. While the first blush of these numbers would lead us to believe that we’re dealing with a rash of spammers, it’s likely that a fair bit of this percentage is also due to people who have accounts that are combined with Twitter via other services.
Between Gowalla, Foursquare, Facebook, Ping.FM and many more, it’s entirely possible to go your entire time on Twitter without ever reading another bit of content that’s posted. For that matter, we’ve talked at length about the ways in which many businesses and “marketers” use Twitter simply as a sounding board without taking anything back in return.
As Barry Schwartz from SEO Roundtable points out:
…about a quarter of Twitter users don’t really use Twitter. Almost half barely use Twitter – they check in every week or so, which is not the way to use Twitter – ask any Twitter user.
This says a lot about how people use social networks more for an egotistical standpoint than they do as a platform for conversation and communication. Remember, folks, conversation works both ways. You can post all you want, but reading it makes it mean something.