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Tweets and Twitter have been the buzzwords lighting up the Internet in recent months. Since being embraced by Hollywood celebrities, endorsed by chat show hosts and paraded by media darlings throughout the world, Twitter has experienced exponential growth amongst the online masses. It has also become a potentially lucrative avenue for serial tweeters after the first Twitter account was sold last month; with CNN reportedly snapping up James Cox’s hugely popular @CNNbrk account.
But is this just a passing fad? Well, according to recent research from Nielsen, despite the huge growth in new members, Twitter’s retention rate (members who remain active beyond the first month) is actually relatively poor – coming in at around 40%. In contrast Facebook and MySpace, the two major rivals for the social networking crown, have both achieved and maintained rates of around 60% during their boom periods and are now operating at around 70%.
Twitter’s simplicity may well be its downfall for many users, as it offers little more than a portal into somebody’s day-to-day lifestyle. However, with millions of avid users across the globe contentedly tweeting to one another, Twitter still has the legs to continue long after the media furore dies down. Commentators have been plotting the demise of Facebook for the last couple of years, yet it continues to maintain huge levels of popularity with people from all walks of life; perhaps the same will be true with Twitter.
Whilst the retention figures may not make the best reading for Twitter’s owners, they are at least improving, as highlighted in the above chart. It also remains a very affordable and effective way to market yourself and your business to a wider audience; giving anyone a virtual soapbox from which to give their view of the world around them.