Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some statistics on new Twitter accounts

Some of you may have noticed that Twitter is approaching 500 million registered accounts. From the daily rate of new registrations Twopcharts is currently estimating that the moment when 500 million accounts are registered will be sometime in the second half of February.
The question that has already been raised many times is how many of these new Twitter accounts are actually active users. Although only Twitter can tell what the exact number is, and how often people log into the system, we can make an effort to estimate how active new accounts are.

We have gone back to October 28th, 2011 when @AdenMo registered account 400 million. So far this account has only sent 1 tweet just after registration, is following 1 account, and is followed by 3 accounts. After we checked this account, we also checked the following 99,999 account that registered, and came up with the following results:

Out of the 100,000 accounts we checked and that registered almost 3 months ago, 12% has disappeared. It is safe to assume that most of these accounts were deleted, while some will have been suspended or cancelled by Twitter. Some other facts:

  •  From the 88,052 still existing accounts, 54,879 (62.3%) have not changed their profile image and are still showing us an egg, with a variety of 7 different background colors.
  • 20.2% of active accounts have filled in the location field, and 17.3% have filled in the bio field.
  • From the 88,052 accounts, 3,871 (4.4%) has chosen to hide their tweets from the public eye, and have protected their accounts.
  • 19,721 existing accounts are not following anyone and are not followed by anyone.
  • Total amount of tweets sent by this sample is 3.8 million, with an average per person of 43.8 tweets for the period, or just over 0.5 tweets per day per account.

The number of 3.8 million tweets can be analyzed to show the difference in active tweet behavior by these relatively new accounts. Total distribution is as follows:

The table shows that 53.8% of our sample size has never sent a tweet, while 5.2% has sent more than 100 tweets over the period from October 28th, 2011. This group is also the most active; 61.2% has sent a tweet less than 2 days ago and 92.4% less than 30 days ago. Obviously with the less active account these figures are different. From the accounts that only sent 1 tweet, 83.6% was sent more than 2 month ago, with the majority sent on the registration date.
On the last summary line, it can be seen that 10.1% of these new accounts has sent a tweet in the last week and 17.1% in the last 30 days, and could be regarded as, more or less, active accounts.

With respect to following and followers the following results were measured, based on the still existing new accounts:

The table shows that from the active accounts 52.7% have no followers and 24.3% is not following anyone else.  A very significant majority of 96.8% of the accounts have 50 followers or less. 90.6% of the accounts are following 50 accounts or less.


Based on a sample of 100,000 accounts that were registered about 3 months ago, one has to be very cautious to draw any general conclusions. It is however likely that from the huge amount of new accounts that have been registered in the last year, the statistics will not differ greatly from what we found here. The vast majority of new accounts only has a limited amount of followers and following, and based on the amount of tweets sent, and the submission date of last tweets, probably only a maximum of 20%-25% convert to active new twitter users, with only about 10% accounts that actively send tweets.


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