It’s no secret that Twitter’s popularity has exploded in recent months, which coincidentally occurred during the same time as Ashton Kutcher’s competition with CNN and Oprah’s Twitter debut.
The chart below tracks Twitter’s Web site traffic over the past year, and shows a massive jump during the last 3-4 months. It’s also important to note that many Twitter users never even go to the main Web page, and use their phones or applications like Twirl instead of Twitter.com.
Even with so many people suddenly joining the Twitter world how many of them are actually using it? Oprah has clearly brought a huge audience onto Twitter, but she has only made 20 updates and is following a mere 11 people – not what you would call a regular user. I would imagine that many of her 692,530 followers joined because she was on it, not because they necessarily want to use the service.
Nielsen reports that Twitter is currently retaining just 40 percent of their new users (which is actually up from recent numbers), though Peter Kafka points out that this is being measured by Twitter.com visits and doesn’t take into account use on applications like Twirl. However, if you take a look through the the list of followers for celebrities like Kutcher and Oprah, you will notice many people that have made very few posts – the classic case of someone joining Twitter just to see what celebrities are up to.
Could Twitter be a fad? With some people, yes. But not for its core group of users. It has already become a central part of many peoples lives is showing no signs of slowing down.