Although the number of active Twitter users doesn't really compare to the amount that Facebook has, the power of Twitter's smaller (in comparison) user-base is incredible.
For example, on Sunday night I was minding my own business surfing the net, and all of a sudden my Twitter feed went crazy, and #obama was trending. Nobody knew what was going on, they only knew that an announcement was scheduled. I tried Google-ing the topic to see if I could find anything, but there was nothing coming up except for Tweets. When it came time for the announcement, I didn't bother turning on the TV, or looking for it on a website, I just kept an eye on my Twitter feed, and watched the story unfold before me.
This whole experience for me was a direct result of Twitter. Since I didn't have the TV on, and I wasn't on any news websites, I wouldn't have known about Osama bin Laden's death until later that night.
Facebook may have a larger user-base, but Twitter's users are more involved and engaged with each other. During the announcement on Sunday night, my Facebook news feed had no mention of anything, whereas Twitter was going crazy.
Twitter allows users to search through tweets by topic, bringing up results for every Twitter user, even ones who you don't follow. On Facebook, you can't even search status updates, let alone status updates from people you aren't friends with. (Facebook eventually started to mention the announcement, but it was after the fact).
Even if you aren't following a ton of people, Twitter is still powerful because of the ability to do live-searching of a topic, allowing you to watch tweets pop up as they happen, which is incredible for live events.
I have included some statistics regarding Twitter usage and growth that I found on the Twitter Blog, which shows how active Twitter users are.
- 3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.
- 1 week. The time it now takes for users to send a billion Tweets.
- 50 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, one year ago.
- 140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day, in the last month.
- 177 million. Tweets sent on March 11, 2011.
- 456. Tweets per second (TPS) when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 (a record at that time).
- 6,939. Current TPS record, set 4 seconds after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day.
- 572,000. Number of new accounts created on March 12, 2011.
- 460,000. Average number of new accounts per day over the last month.
- 182%. Increase in number of mobile users over the past year.
- 8. 29. 130. 350. 400. Number of Twitter employees in Jan 2008, Jan 2009, Jan 2010, Jan 2011 and today.
If you're looking for a good place to get started with Twitter, we have compiled a good list of Financial Advisors to follow, just check out our recent Follow Fridays.