Twitter: Is there an adoption ceiling in sight?
A recent post by Network World blogger Mark Gibbs has some really interesting statistics, courtesy of RJMetrics, about the use of Twitter in the past several months. Although Twitter had 75 million registered users by the start of 2010, new adopters peaked back in July, 2009. Only 17 percent of users sent a tweet in December (I wasn't one of them, having sworn off Twitter during the craziness of holidays-plus-year-end-scramble--a swearing off that has since stuck), and the average number of followers and tweets continue to decline.
This isn't surprising. Like any technology, and any social medium, Twitter will likely coalesce around a core group of so-called "power users." Many of these users, according to the survey conductors, are young. Others are probably invested in the marketing and promotion Twitter enables, whether on a personal or corporate level. But that number will show limited growth over time, and will eventually map more to demographics (number of young people, number of brand-focused employees, etc.) than anything else.
Granted, that number today isn't small: around 15 million, depending on your definitions, and how you slice the data. But it isn't 75 million--and pretending that it is would be a mistake (one I think Gibbs makes when he suggests companies shouldn't ignore the marketing opportunity to 75 million people).