If you wanna express your Valentine's Day sentiments to your sweetheart via Twitter next month, chances are they will see it because it's official: everybody is on Twitter these days. And what's significant about February 14? According to the Twitter data warlocks over at Twopcharts, that's the approximate date when Twitter is expected to have register its 500,00,000th account.
Honestly, though, it's presumptuous to assume that will signify the 500,000,000th unique user, however, because if you're already on Twitter you know that bots abound in all forms. I'm pretty sure that half (if not more) of my 80-some followers are bots of some kind and, if I'm lucky, I could have the odd Homeland Security intern following me while masquerading as a licentious girl.
But real people Twitter or not, the 500,000,000 mark is quickly approaching.
Look at that statement at the bottom. I'm gonna go ahead and say it: there is no way in hell more than one million people are joining Twitter every 24-hour period. Not unique users, at least. I have more than one Twitter account, as I suspect other people have as well if they like to keep a single account dedicated to one task (such as a business or a blog), so the multi-account user would inflate this number. Second, I swear on any of my accounts the bots-to-humans ratio hovers somewhere around 4:1.
With their olfactory senses keen to the smell of sir-reverence, Compete.com computed the site analytics for unique users to Twitter as of November 2011.
Computing meaningful stats for social media networks is a confusing if not contradictory exercise. It can seem like futile pomp that allows websites like Twitter and Google+ to blow their own horn. It's all of matter of what data is most flattering for the message a business wants to promote. In this case, half a billion users sounds impressive. Academics are Level 50 Magicians when it comes to manipulating mediocre data so I guess if you PhD students can't get a job at universities after you finish your dissertation, you can always go work for a place like Twitter.