Did Oprah Make Twitter’s Numbers Look Bad?

    June 9, 2009
    Chris Crum

Earlier today, we looked at some numbers that didn’t exactly look great for Twitter. While the numbers certainly shouldn’t be ignored, nobody ever said they were concrete or indisputable fact.

The fact is, that numbers supplied from research firms are often off a bit, and they should usually be taken with a grain of salt. The indication however, was that Twitter growth had pretty much screeched to a halt. That really might not be the whole picture though.

You know how Oprah gave Twitter a huge boost? It’s possible that she might also be one reason that Twitter at first glance has appeared to level out as seen in this Compete graph:

Matthew Daines, the lead developer of our own Twitter app, Twellow, showed me another graph that he put together from the user IDs he found in the Twitter API, based on when they registered with Twitter.

Twitter User Registrations

As you can see from this graph, total registrations have continued to increase, though they have gone down slightly in a month’s time. If you look closer, you’ll notice that May’s number is still higher than March’s, although it’s down from April. You know why April was so high though? You guessed it. OPRAH!

Matthew Daines "When you take into account Oprah followers coming online in April, registration numbers show the growth hasn’t stopped, just that April was an abnormal month due to Oprah fans," Daines points out. "Growth has slowed, but not stopped…these are actual numbers from the Twitter API."

As I tried to convey in the previous article, I think the "end times for Twitter" talk is a bit exaggerated. Although there are still a lot of valid points made about retention and how many people are actually using Twitter actively.

In addition, "This doesn’t take into account any suspended or defunct accounts, but overall I think it gives a good picture of new users coming online with Twitter," Daines notes.

A WebProNews reader left a comment on the previous article suggesting that the number of followers or those who are only following a small number probably accounts for a lot of people who are just using Twitter to communicate with friends and family. Perhaps it is a bit hasty to throw them into the borderline non-users category.