Twitter is still a niche product, says Pew Research Center


The Pew Research Center has released the findings (PDF) of their first study focused exclusively on Twitter. According to the report, Twitter is still a niche product used by 8% of U.S. Internet users.

Twitter is comparatively popular with urban and minority teens, but less popular among 30-something white, non-hispanics living in the suburbs. But reportedly around 370,000 new users sign up daily.

According to the report, some of the demographic groups who demonstrate relatively high levels of Twitter use include:

  • Young adults: Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter than older adults.
  • African-Americans and Latinos: Minority Internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white Internet users.
  • Urbanites: Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers.

Women and the college-educated are also slightly more likely than average to use the platform.

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Overall, observations related to users’ personal or professional lives are the most popular types of updates, while location-based tweets and links to videos are the least commonly mentioned:

  • 72% of Twitter users say that they post updates related to their personal life, activities, or interests. A total of one in five (19%) say they post personal updates once a day or more.
  • 62% said they post updates related to their work life, activities, or interests, with 12% doing so on a daily basis.
  • 55% of these Twitter users share links to news stories. One in ten (12%) do this at least once a day.
  • 54% say they post humorous or philosophical observations about life in general, with 16% doing so on a daily basis.
  • 53% use Twitter to retweet material posted by others, with 18% doing so on a daily basis.
  • 52% send direct messages to other users, with 11% doing so on a daily basis.
  • 40% use Twitter to share photos with others, with 12% going so at least once a day.
  • 28% use Twitter to share videos with others. Fewer than one in ten Twitter users (8%) do this once a day or more.
  • 24% use the service to tweet their location, with 7% of users doing so on a daily basis

One-quarter of Twitter users check in multiple times a day for tweets from others, while one in five never check for new material on the site.

Grab a copy of the report (PDF).

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