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Twitter utilization in the U.S. to grow through 2013

Mar. 22, 2011

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According to a recent report published by eMarketer, overall utilization of the Twitter website in the U.S. is expected to continue to grow for at least the next two years, although usage levels and growth rates will be modest compared with earlier forecasts done in 2010.

Nevertheless, Twitter will probably still remain a strong force within the social media ecosystem and a viable venue for Internet marketers targeting youthful, engaged audiences.

For this year, it is expected that about 20.6 million adult Internet users in the United States will use Twitter at least once to twice a month, up 26.3 percent over last year. Usage levels will continue to rise at double-digit rates, reaching about 27.7 million U.S. adults in two years.

Among the overall U.S. adult Internet user population, about 14 percent will be Twitter users in 2013, up from 11 percent in 2011.

These are meaningful numbers for any Internet marketer targeting the Twitter audience.

But it's also necessary to point out that Twitter isn't growing as fast as eMarketer had projected in its April 2010 forecast. At that time, it was expected that Twitter would reach between 35 to 36 million U.S. adult users by the end of 2012, compared with 24.1 million in eMarketer's current forecast for next year.

Additionally, eMarketer’s estimates of the size of the 'Twittersphere' are lower than those of organizations that have already focused on traffic estimates or the number of Twitter accounts. Those are metrics that include automated accounts, duplicate accounts and casual browsers who do not actually use the Twitter service.

But unlike Facebook, which has evolved into a major hub for a full spectrum of Internet activity—- including email, blogging, gaming and video sharing-— Twitter still remains essentially a text-based communications utility.

Demographically, Twitter users in the U.S. count a lot of young females, with the majority still in their teens. The Twitter usage rate among 18 to 29-year-olds is double that of the 30-to-49 group, according to a Pew study, and women users slightly outnumber men.

By understanding the size, behavior and demographic mix of the average Twitter audience, Internet marketers and Web advertisers will be in a stronger position to make decisions about investing in Twitter’s growing ad vehicles.

Source: eMarketer.

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