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Nielsen: Twitter’s Audience Retention Rate Sucks

Three out of five users walking away

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Getting someone’s attention can be difficult these days; people have so many interests and so little time that convincing them to swing by a website can count as a real victory.  Unfortunately for Twitter, it’s also important to keep people around, and in this respect, statistics indicate that the micro-blogging service is failing rather miserably.

David Martin, Nielsen Online’s vice president of primary research, reported an almost startling number yesterday.  "Currently, more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month," he wrote, "or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent."

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Which is actually worse than a two-steps-forward-one-step-back scenario.

The bright side is that Twitter’s retention rate used to hover under 30 percent, so the number is at least improving.  But compared to what Twitter’s predecessors achieved, 40 percent remains sad.

Martin noted, "[W]e found that even when Facebook and MySpace were emerging networks like Twitter is now, their retention rates were twice as high.  When they went through their explosive growth phases, that retention only went up, and both sit at nearly 70 percent today."

If Twitter can’t match those levels, it’s on track to meet with a whole lot of rejection and achieve popularity among only a smallish number of people.

Nielsen: Twitter’s Audience Retention Rate Sucks


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  • http://www.ericward.com EricW

    Each twitter user will find (or not find) a practical use for it or not. It’s not twitter that makes people leave, it’s all in how you use it. I hated twitter at first, but now, a couple years in, it’s a vital tool to me. I just had to figure out the best way to use it, for my needs.

    -Eric

  • http://www.murderbydesign.com.au Angela Cockburn

    I visited Twitter once, signed up, found one friend who hadn’t been back for three months, couldn’t work out how on earth it worked, or why, and went comfortably back to Facebook. Now I keep being sent Twitter links from businesses who already send me daily emails, just in case I want to read the same information twice. As far as I can work out, Twitter is for advertising.

  • Fred Hambrecht

    Everyone gets 140 characters of fame…

  • http://www.wsinetspecialists.com Will Paccione

    When people use 3rd party apps like Tweetdeck, Twhirl or DestroyTwitter, I doubt it counts in Nielsons ratings as Twitter.com visits. I use Twitter all the time and rarely go to the site. It isn’t like Myspace or Facebook where you need to go to the site.

    I’m surprised this wasn’t addressed.

  • http://www.aloeverachangeslives.com Efstratios Kallintzis

    I agree with Angela that Twitter is for advertising. I prefer Facebook.

  • http://twitter.com/Bubbalou Louise

    “If Twitter can’t match those levels, it’s on track to meet with a whole lot of rejection and achieve popularity among only a smallish number of people.”

    But what if that smallish number of people are exactly the people I want to connect with, make new friends and share information with? Win/win/win I’d say (me/them/twitter)

  • Guest

    If you are tired of facebook or twitter but want a way to connect with artists and musicians then you should check out www.putiton.com

    If you are tired of facebook or twitter but still want to connect with your friends then pick up the phone…

  • http://www.whatcom.it whatmaster

    I think that a tool whose use you have to figure out is not a very valuable tool.
    Twitter has been overvalued (on purpose, actually) and its future is very uncertain. All the ‘noise’ about big corporations and firms making business via twitter is not much more than a marketing operation (I’d like to say an elaborate hoax) that is showing all its limits that are the same as microblogging ones…

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