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42% of US Internet Users Have a Facebook Account. For Twitter, It’s 16% (diegobasch.com)
30 points by nachopg on Oct 3, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 32 comments

I wonder how many people bounce from the twitter signup page. Every combination of my name is already taken on twitter and every few months I would go to sign up, but can't find a name that isn't taken. The impression they give you is that the name is very important and you can only pick it once. I also barely ever use facebook, but as I can just use my email I signed up long ago.

Does Twitter suggest an alternative username? Even if they do, the problem with Twitter growth is that nobody will follow a new user unless they know you in real life. I have the impression that for new users it's mostly s feed reader with ads and Foursquare checkins.

> I have the impression that for new users it's mostly s feed reader with ads and Foursquare checkins

There's another way to use it? Seriously, I don't get how to use Twitter. If I follow someone, how do I comment on what they said? Does everyone see that? What exactly is Twitter trying to do? I have never 'got' it.

It's looks to me like an IM service crossed with RSS, except I can't figure out how to do any messaging.

(Not that this is really a problem, I have nothing to say and am not social, but it's irritating not understanding something.)

The rules...

1. Every tweet on public profiles are ... public. Anyone can read them but not all your followers see all your tweets (more later).

2. If your tweet starts with an @mention (as in, the first character of the tweet) then only the user you @mention will see the tweet in their feed (as well as anyone else you @mention in the tweet). It does not display on your followers feeds. That is, unless, you both have mutual followers.

It's a hack and many people don't understand it.

This is exactly my experience with Twitter and I thought I was the only one.

I'm so glad its not just me.

When I joined Twitter back in the relatively early days of the service every tweet I did would generate replies and lead to conversations. I met some people locally and made new friends. That hasn't happened in about 3 years now. Unless you are a celebrity of some sort nobody but your real life friends will care about your updates these days. And they will also see the same info when you put it on Facebook. When something happens in the world Twitter is the first place I look for breaking news. But I'm quickly losing interest in creating content for Twitter because there is virtually no engagement.

The user name suggestion's were less than stellar. On the home page it looks like they append a random letter to your name as a suggestion. :\ This problem would be a perfect case for a genetic algorithm where the fitness function is the user. It could present a handful of options, but if you don't want one of them you could select one to be "similar" which would cause it to spawn off new names that you might like.

You can change it later, and it keeps all your followers following after the change. 3rd party apps are supposed to track you by ID and not name, but god only knows who really does what.

747 responses. Not statistically significant at all. Extrapolating anything from these results could be very misleading obviously.

Well, the confidence intervals are right there on the charts, and look pretty damn significant to me...

Facebook reported in their SEC filing that they had 170M active US accounts, about 55 accounts for every 100 Americans. Interesting gap, especially because this survey only looks at US internet users and doesn't ask about active.

I wonder if this is due to multiple accounts per person, bad facebook reporting, or bad survey results.

One wrinkle - Doesn't this poll ignores anyone under 18? Facebook lets you sign up only once you have turned 13. Internet users between the ages of 13 to 18 are unaccounted for.

I trust the tool, and I'm pretty confident in the margin of error. I would bet that there are a significant number of people with multiple / fake accounts.

Most people I know have a FB account for their dog. Is it just me?

I have a couple accounts -- one for work, one for friends, etc -- I know they have a way of breaking up who sees what on one account now, but I created these accounts a while before that product released

Didn't know about the polling app that Google has. That's great.

Seems to me like Twitter still has a lot of opportunity for growth in the US, if these numbers are to be believed.

Just because many people are not using something, it doesn't mean demand for that something is high. Often, it's the other way around - if many people are not using something, it's usually due to low demand (at this price).

What price? Time, effort, attention, opportunity costs, etc.

I think it's barrier to entry. It must be very frustrating to join Twitter today, see people with thousands of followers and not having any.

Most non-famous people I know who joined Twitter recently follow 50-100 people and have a handful of followers (who know them in real life). They get bored quickly and stop using it.

But those people still have an account...the article is about people who haven't even tried Twitter.

I joined Twitter several years ago but I still had the same experience.

Actually, that's exactly what it means. Demand = consumption.

Opportunity for growth and growth are not the same thing. I think Twitter has opportunity for growth, but that's not to say they will definitely execute on it.

Your initial takeaway might simply be "wow, a lot less people user Twitter than Facebook." However, I remember seeing stats a year or two ago suggesting that 50% of US users had Facebook and less than 10% had Twitter. If both sets of numbers are accurately comparable (and they may not be), that would suggest that Facebook may be on a slow decline while Twitter is still growing.

I don't think old stats from other sources are comparable. In order to evaluate changes I would only compare my results against the exact same question asked with the same tool at a different point in time.

in my experience, Twitter, at least with many people in my social reach, is a lot more vibrant and interactive, despite less adoption as a whole. Facebook is great for the occasional photo dump, but I see the news feed slowly dwindling in activity, especially when compared to my very active Twitter feed

twitter is where you find people you want to know, facebook is where you find people you used to know ...

For me it's twitter is where I find people I don't know, and facebook is where I find people I do know.

Twitter is useful for me as an aggregator for gathering twitter posts by people I'm interested in. All of my family members who do use twitter also have the FB<-->Twitter thing hooked up so I'm not missing anything from them by ignoring twitter.

Personally, I find very little value in twitter. Maybe it's because I'm in the wrong demographic or my social circle doesn't use it, I don't know. I could imagine a world where we posted everything through twitter, but in reality almost nobody I know personally actually uses twitter.

ok I admit, got that quote from the calacanis + sacca interview, awesome interview btw

The numbers feel so very low, but that's a good reminder of how insulated a developer can get from their users.

What does "Have a Facebook Account" mean in terms of activity? Maybe the question should also have asked about usage ...

I wouldn't have received significant numbers about usage. In surveys you don't want to conflate questions, and these questions are asked independently to different people. It's hard to formulate a question about usage of Facebook for the general internet population and get a significant number of useful responses.

Edit: I learned that the tool lets you ask Screener questions that qualify people to answer subsequent questions. I'll try this with a future survey.

I was wondering the same thing about Twitter.

About half the people I know have Twitter accounts. Of them, only a handful have ever tweeted anything.

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