Twitter vs. Facebook

Twitter vs. Facebook

With the recent increase in the popularity of Twitter and with everyone from Barack Obama to Britney Spears signing up, it leads us to question how popular Twitter actually is. 
20% of Twitter users have joined in the last 60 days and Twitter is expected to double its members within a year. However, just how far does Twitter lag behind Facebook in popularity?
The media mentions Facebook about 4 times as often as Twitter, but Facebook is over 30 times bigger than Twitter and it is growing much faster. 
Twitter has 4-5 million users with 5-10 thousand new accounts opening per day. This seems huge, but the reality is that 30% of Twitter’s 5 million users have unengaged accounts.
Compare this to Facebook’s 140 million active users and 600,000 daily registrants. It seems clear that Twitter is a huge phenomenon, but that Facebook has already broken into the mainstream.
If Facebook stopped growing today and Twitter was allowed to play catch-up, it would take 36 years for Twitter to reach Facebook’s current numbers. Conversely, Facebook “grows a Twitter’s worth” every 8 days!
In order for Twitter to break into the mainstream its members need to start using the social network more. 38% of Twitter’s members have no picture, 22% of members have under 5 followers and 9% aren’t following anyone.
These numbers were taken from a HubSpot report on Twitter’s status at the end of 2008 and from new facebook user numbers.
4 Comments
  • Inc Magazine
    Posted at 02:24h, 18 January Reply

    Not quite what your posting is about, but I’m curious of your thoughts on using Social Networking sites for different advertising purposes: Brand/Customer Management and Lead Generation.

    Most products not sold through retailers would probably like the Lead Generation more, but it seems to me this is more difficult. — Unless you want to get into unsavory spamming practices.

    Customer Management would work better because you take care of those customers that seek you out to become a friend, or fan or whatever…..

    What are your thoughts? Can a balance be achieved and both tasks be used?
    How would you do a social networking lead building strategy? How would measure its success?

    thanks!

  • Texas Pete
    Posted at 02:25h, 18 January Reply

    Using statistical numbers to determine future growth is flawed. It doesn’t account for the functional pros and cons of each social medium and the supply and demand for the pros of either medium.

    Facebook is here to stay, primarily because it is ingrained in the social fabric of our youth. They have taken ownership of it. They talk about Facebook as a product of their generation. They will be doing it for as long as they live. Twitter is a different animal.

    Twitter’s relationship with mobile computing is the thing that gives it unique (although not totally) value from other mediums. Simplicity and kinship to mobile computing (text messaging) will b the reason Twitter will survive and flourish. If the people who run it don’t destroy it. It is still more primitive than it should be a this stage.

  • Matt Morrell
    Posted at 02:25h, 18 January Reply

    I think the size of Twitter is its main asset. Facebook presumes a relationship; Twitter encourages users to listen in and join in on all kinds of conversations.

    Just this morning I noticed that one of my favorite music writers, Sasha Frere Jones, is active on Twitter, posting updates all day. Within five minutes of finding the profile, he and I were in a full conversation about a Spoon remix of a Feist song. Facebook neither offers nor calls for that kind of immediacy.

    Also, in the feature I find extremely promising, Twitter works in the third world. Everyone in sub-Saharan Africa seems to have a cell phone with texting capabilities, (Twitter can be used exclusively through text) but very few people have access to an Internet connection that can handle the image-rich pages on Facebook.
    The possibilities of conversation across such incredible barriers is thrilling and only beginning to show themselves.

  • CoreyH
    Posted at 02:25h, 18 January Reply

    Interesting, but I think you have your “mac” and “pc” backwards…

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