December 28, 2008

Retweets and Twitter Bots

There is recently a lot of discussion going on concerning the authority of Twitter users : Michael Arrington, Robert Scoble, Loic Le Meur. Some bloggers propose that the number of followers is a good measure of the authority of a Twitter user. Others argue that other elements should be taken into account, e.g. the number of retweets. A retweet is when a Twitter user copies a twitter message from another Twitter user in their network and shares it with their network, hereby mentioning the author of the original Twitter message.

As Loic Le Meur stated that there were over 7,000 tweets for the Le Web 3 conference that was held in the beginning of December 2008, I checked the number of search results produced by Twitter Search (previously Summize). I came accross a remarkable sequence of tweets. Have a look yourself, e.g. by trying this search.



One tweet (by dotdean) is retweeted by several Twitter bots, resulting in 10 additional tweets. You can find the sequence of all these tweets in the graphic below.



Furthermore 10 additional URL shortcuts were created : http://tr.im/2ool, http://tinyurl.com/98cx3x, http://is.gd/dOdC, http://is.gd/dOdF, http://bit.ly/14i9j, http://tinyurl.com/76dvzl, http://bit.ly/h4p9, http://bit.ly/JebP, http://tinyurl.com/9jjwvz, http://is.gd/dOtd and http://is.gd/dOte.

With this example in mind, I think there are some problems by taking the number of retweets into account for the authority of a Twitter user.

December 14, 2008

First State of the Twitosphere in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. In the series of states of the Twitosphere on this blog, I did not yet publish a state of the Twitosphere for a Southeast Asian country. The first question in such an analysis is the number of Twitter users in Malaysia. Twitter user search is already disabled for a while, so I cannot inform you on the number of Twitter users in Malaysia according to Twitter itself.

Based on the location info in the Twitter profiles, I was able to find 3429 Twitter users in Malaysia, all active users. These users make an explicit reference to Malaysia, the country itself or a geographical location within this country. Persons who have closed their Twitter accounts are not included in this number. Because the number of Twitter users not mentioning a true location in their Twitter profile is estimated at around 50%, the actual number of Twitter users in Malaysia will probably exceed 3429. With a population of 27,730,000 people (source Wikipedia), the Twitter user density for Malaysia is one Twitter account for every 8087 inhabitants.

History of the Twitter accounts in Malaysia
The graph below shows the history of the Twitter accounts from Malaysia. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Twitter accounts. Twitter users who haven't published any messages and Twitter users with a private profile (their messages are only visible for their approved followers) are not included in this graph. Twitter started late in Malaysia. The oldest Twitter users date back from March 2006. Only 6 months later first users from Malaysia started using Twitter.



Oldest Twitter accounts from Malaysia
http://twitter.com/Adriana - Adriana - first message on August 27, 2006
http://twitter.com/adamgiles_com - Adam Giles - first message on September 4, 2006
http://twitter.com/praveenrajan - Praveen Rajan - first message on September 5, 2006
http://twitter.com/Clowve - Clowve - first message on October 4, 2006
http://twitter.com/JerryOng - Jerry Ong - first message on October 6, 2006
http://twitter.com/syedsyahrul - syed syahrul zarizi - first message on October 31, 2006
http://twitter.com/tropicaljantie - tropicaljantie - first message on November 3, 2006
http://twitter.com/reneetan - Renee - first message on November 3, 2006
http://twitter.com/SmartGuy - SmartGuy - first message on November 9, 2006
http://twitter.com/bee - bee - first message on November 21, 2006

Private or public
309 Twitter acounts from Malaysia or 9% have chosen to keep their updates only available to their friends.

Number of following
A Twitter user can choose to follow one or more other Twitter accounts, called "following". 682 Twitter accounts from Malaysia or 20% do not follow other Twitter users. An average Twitter account from Malaysia follows 34 Twitter accounts.



Top 10 following
http://twitter.com/May_ - Mayen - 2,858 following
http://twitter.com/thangwai - thangwai - 2,051 following
http://twitter.com/home_remedies - home_remedies - 2,000 following
http://twitter.com/LearnOnlineBiz - LearnOnlineBiz - 2,000 following
http://twitter.com/joker400 - Ibrahim - 2,000 following
http://twitter.com/ashique - Ashique M. Abdullah - 2,000 following
http://twitter.com/vacom - vacom - 1,999 following
http://twitter.com/esthercsk - Esther Cheang SK - 1,998 following
http://twitter.com/Gloson - Gloson Teh - 1,991 following
http://twitter.com/razali87 - Mohd. Razali - 1,979 following

Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as following and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 77 Twitter users from Malaysia or 2% have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as following. The messages published by these Twitter users are only read by themselves (and by search engines). An average Twitter user from Malaysia has 31 followers.



Top 10 followers
http://twitter.com/Gloson - Gloson Teh - 1,790 followers
http://twitter.com/Artmaker - I-Ming - 1,711 followers
http://twitter.com/home_remedies - home_remedies - 1,339 followers
http://twitter.com/LearnOnlineBiz - LearnOnlineBiz - 1,095 followers
http://twitter.com/chetzyusof - Chetz Yusof - 1,032 followers
http://twitter.com/bobkor - bobkor - 839 followers
http://twitter.com/WayneLiew - Wayne Liew - 820 followers
http://twitter.com/joker400 - Ibrahim - 816 followers
http://twitter.com/euginn - euginn - 766 followers
http://twitter.com/JerryOng - Jerry Ong - 751 followers

Updates
An update is the term refering to Twitter messages published by a Twitter users. These are also called tweets. The average number of updates for a Twitter users from Malaysia is 123. 205 Twitter users (or 6%) are still waiting for their first message to be published. Below you can find the top 10.



Top 10 updates
http://twitter.com/kiongchiu - Sparkish - 15,905 updates
http://twitter.com/NewStraitsTimes - New Straits Times - 11,703 updates
http://twitter.com/rasso - Lan Rasso - 9,458 updates
http://twitter.com/ppmy - I follow Penangites! - 7,074 updates
http://twitter.com/Sanjaghak - FateMeh - 5,712 updates
http://twitter.com/neonplanet - NeonPlanet - 4,763 updates
http://twitter.com/liewcf - Liew Cheon Fong - 4,522 updates
http://twitter.com/Artmaker - I-Ming - 3,800 updates
http://twitter.com/reese - reese spykerman - 3,638 updates
http://twitter.com/jfkjohan - Johan F. Khairuddin - 3,505 updates

Degree of activity
29% of all Twitter users from Malaysia have publised at least one message in the last 7 days.
41% of all Twitter users from Malaysia have not published a message for more than a month.
9% of all Twitter users from Malaysia is private, so no information on their degree activity is available.
On 6% of the Twitter accounts from Malaysia not a single message has been published.

Conclusion
The results of the analysis of the state of the twitosphere in Malaysia are comparable to the results for other previously analyzed countries.

From August 2006 there were a few Malaysian users from Twitter. A first increase in popularity occured around March 2007. A next increase in popularity of Twitter started from April/May 2008, followed by a next increase in adoption speed from November 2008. Compared to the Western European countries the Twitter user density is still lower, so there are probably further a lot of people in Malaysia to be convinced of the use of Twitter.

October 29, 2008

First State of the Twitosphere in Costa Rica

A while ago a commenter on this blog asked if I could also analyze the twitosphere in his country, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east (source : Wikipedia). I have never been to Costa Rica, so I do not have personal memories or opinions on this country. Nevertheless, I found it a good idea to have a closer look at the usage of Twitter in Costa Rica.

The first question in such an analysis is the number of Twitter users in Costa Rica. Twitter user search is temporary disabled, so I cannot inform you on the number of Twitter users in Costa Rica according to Twitter itself. Twitdir reports 338 Twitter users for location Costa Rica.

Based on the location info in the Twitter profiles, I was able to find 507 Twitter users in Costa Rica, still active users. Persons who have closed their Twitter accounts are not included in this number. Because the number of Twitter users not mentioning a true location in their Twitter profile is estimated at around 50%, the actual number of Twitter users in Costa Rica will probably exceed 507. With a population of 4.133 million people (source Wikipedia), the Twitter user density for Costa Rica is one Twitter account for every 8,152 inhabitants.

History of the Twitter accounts in Costa Rica
The graph below shows the history of the Twitter accounts from Costa Rica. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Twitter accounts. Twitter users who haven't published any messages and Twitter users with a private profile (their messages are only visible for their approved followers) are not included in this graph. Twitter started late in Costa Rica. The oldest Twitter users date back from March 2006. Only 8 months later first Costa Ricans started using Twitter.



Oldest Twitter accounts from Costa Rica
http://twitter.com/gringuitica - Erin - first message on January 11, 2007
http://twitter.com/darcia - David Arcia - first message on February 14, 2007
http://twitter.com/lizrincon - Liz Rincon - first message on March 16, 2007
http://twitter.com/Gorileo - Rogelio Umaña - first message on March 18, 2007
http://twitter.com/soloesteban - Esteban Solorzano - first message on March 20, 2007
http://twitter.com/405 - Cuatro Cero Cinco - first message on March 22, 2007
http://twitter.com/MariHo - Mario HB - first message on March 28, 2007
http://twitter.com/nityananda - Nityananda das - first message on March 29, 2007
http://twitter.com/conejita236 - Angel Ackermann - first message on April 6, 2007
http://twitter.com/BarryStev - Barry Stevens - first message on April 22, 2007
http://twitter.com/Toxicomaniac - toxic - first message on April 26, 2007

Private or public
59 Twitter acounts from Costa Rica or 12% have chosen to keep their updates only available to their friends.

Number of following
A Twitter user can choose to follow one or more other Twitter accounts, called "following". 84 Twitter accounts from Costa Rica or 17% do not follow other Twitter users. An average Twitter account from Costa Rica follows 31 Twitter accounts.



Top 10 following
http://twitter.com/iecr - Spanishinstitute - 2,000 following
http://twitter.com/muchacostarica - MuchaCostaRica.Com - 1,727 following
http://twitter.com/NicoPisani - NicoPisani - 655 following
http://twitter.com/Gorileo - Rogelio Umaña - 493 following
http://twitter.com/iCostaRicaTV - iCostaRicaTV - 425 following
http://twitter.com/jenfos - jenfos - 418 following
http://twitter.com/ReverendDoctor - TheReverendDoctor - 418 following
http://twitter.com/remediosgraphic - remediosgraphic - 310 following
http://twitter.com/AlexOtarola - Otárola - 213 following
http://twitter.com/stevekatz - stevekatz - 212 following

Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as following and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 40 Twitter users from Costa Rica or 8% have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as following. The messages published by these Twitter users are only read by themselves (and by search engines). An average Twitter user from Costa Rica has 24 followers.



Top 10 followers
http://twitter.com/muchacostarica - MuchaCostaRica.Com - 606 followers
http://twitter.com/Gorileo - Rogelio Umaña - 518 followers
http://twitter.com/NicoPisani - NicoPisani - 443 followers
http://twitter.com/jenfos - jenfos - 283 followers
http://twitter.com/iecr - Spanishinstitute - 283 followers
http://twitter.com/stevekatz - stevekatz - 261 followers
http://twitter.com/SEOCharlie - SEOCharlie - 236 followers
http://twitter.com/fusildechispas - cristian cambronero - 196 followers
http://twitter.com/remediosgraphic - remediosgraphic - 158 followers
http://twitter.com/gringuitica - Erin - 153 followers

Updates
An update is the term refering to Twitter messages published by a Twitter users. These are also called tweets. The average number of updates for a Twitter users from Costa Rica is 118. 44 Twitter users (or 9%) are still waiting for their first message to be published. Below you can find the top 10.



Top 10 updates
http://twitter.com/Gorileo - Rogelio Umaña - 3.715 updates
http://twitter.com/berylcorea - berylcorea - 2.883 updates
http://twitter.com/reiterstahl - RQR - 2.248 updates
http://twitter.com/SEOCharlie - SEOCharlie - 1.957 updates
http://twitter.com/OzaCR - OzaCR - 1.804 updates
http://twitter.com/willvv - Will Vásquez Vásquez - 1.621 updates
http://twitter.com/zoncho - Carlos Murillo - 1.461 updates
http://twitter.com/yeco - Yeco - 1.337 updates
http://twitter.com/olesha - olesha - 1.209 updates
http://twitter.com/Rafa - Rafael Gonzalez - 1.207 updates

Degree of activity
37% of all Twitter users from Costa Rica have publised at least one message in the last 7 days.
30% of all Twitter users from Costa Rica have not published a message for more than a month.
12% of all Twitter users from Costa Rica have published at least message on in the period between 7 and 31 days (older than a week, but in the last month).

12% of all Twitter users from Costa Rica is private, so no information on their degree activity is available.
On 9% of the Twitter accounts from Costa Rica not a single message has been published.

Conclusion
Costa Rica is a relatively small country in Central America. It is not known for a significant contribution to what's happening on the internet or in the blogosphere of twitosphere. Neverthelessm there is an active Twitter community in Costa Rica. This community started rather late, but it is growing at a relatively high speed.

October 14, 2008

BarackObama followers

Twitter User BarackObama has an incredible amount of followers. This Twitter account follows every Twitter user that follows BarackObama. Currently Twitter User BarackObama is following over 100,000 other Twitter users. A rough estimation of the number of Twitter messages per day per users can be made of two sources. Twiturly scans between 200,000 and 250,000 Twitter messages per day, TwitDir reports 3.18 million Twitters users. This leads to the following calculations.

Number of Twitter Users (TwitDir) : 3,183,544
Daily Twitter messages (Twiturly) : 200,000 - 250,000
Number of Twitter messages per day and user : 0,063 - 0,079
BarackObama followers : 101.350
Twitter messages from BarackObama followers per day : 6.367 - 7.959
Twitter messages from BarackObama followers per hour : 265 - 332
Twitter messages from BarackObama followers per minute : 4.4 - 5.5

It seems quite unlikely that Barack Obama himself would read all these Twitter messages. I even doubt it that a single person is capable of reading all these messages (5 per minute, 24 hours per day).

October 13, 2008

Twinfluence

Influence of a Twitter account does not solely depends on the number of people who are following the Twitter account. It also depends on the size of the network of the followers of Twitter account. Twinfluence applies the concept of social capital to propose a set of new influence measures for Twitter users (from the about page).

Reach: Reach is the number of followers a Twitterer has (first-order followers), plus all of their followers (second-order followers). Reach is a measurement of potential audience and listeners, a best estimate of the number of people that a given Twitterer could quickly get a message to.

Velocity: Velocity merely averages the number of first- and second-order followers attracted per day since the Twitterer first established their account. The larger the number is, the faster that Twitterer has accumulated their influence. Of course, this number could jump significantly with the addition of a few high-profile followers.

Social Capital: Tthe average first-order network of a Twitterer's followers. A high value indicates that most of that Twitterer's followers have a lot of followers themselves.

Centralization: This is a measure of how much a Twitterer's influence (reach) is invested in a small number of followers. Centralization scores range from 0% (completely decentralized) to a theoretical 100% (completely dependent on one Twitterer).

Efficiency: The more people you follow, the more time you have to spend reading and filtering tweets. Efficiency is a measure of how many people a Twitterer had to follow in order to build up their reach, as a percentage.

A few examples to illustrate these new influence measures.

BarackObama, the most followed Twitter user


SteveRubel, a digital marketer working at Edelman Digital


TwitFacts, the Twitter user I created for this blog



These new influence measures are interesting. They have however also their limitations. Influence should be measured for persons. Barack Obama uses various channels to illustrate his influence : speaches, debates, personal encounters, his website, his Twitter account, … On a lower scale everyone is active on different channels. Steve Rubel writes on his blog, he writes columns, he speaks at various events, he works for various clients as a digital marketer at Edelman Digital. On addition to that, he has a stream of Twitter messages. Influence can be measured for each of these channels : number of blog posts linking to Steve Rubel's blog, number of readers and comments on his columns, number of speaking engagements, number of Edelman clients wanting to work with him, ... All these measures are only capable of capturing a tiny aspect of someone's influence. Influence should ideally be measured for a person, not for a specific channel. Twinfluence is however an interesting approach for a specific domain for which no influence measures were available.

Twinfluence uses a clever way to deal with the Twitter API. All requests to the Twitter API are performed with the Twitter user credentials supplied by the user. After several queries, there is a big risk that a user will receive this error message :

October 12, 2008

Twitter Top 100 lists compared

In a previous post (Top Twitter Users) I listed several sites where lists of top Twitter users can be found. I wanted to get an idea on the quality of these lists. Do they contain the same Twitter users ? Do they provide the same data ?

I considered four top lists of Twitter users ranked by the number of followers.
1. Twitdir Top 100 followed : number 1 on the list has 94937 followers, there are 6586 followers for number 100
2. Twittercounter The top 100 most popular Twitter users : number 1 on the list has 94600 followers, there are 7156 followers for number 100
3. Twitterholic Top 100 based on Followers : number 1 on the list has 94894 followers, there are 6562 followers for number 100
4. Twittown Top 150 followers (only first 100 considered) : number 1 on the list has 6941 followers, there are 986 followers for number 100

The four lists combined count 179 different Twitter users. It is clear that the top 100 list from Twittown is outdated. Twitter user @BarackObama has only 5441 followers according to Twittown, in reality this Twitter user has 94937 followers.

Let's compare the three other list. The three lists combined cound 122 different Twitter users, see table below.

Twitdir has the highest values for number of followers. Twittercounter has the lowest values.
* If Twitdir is compared to Twitterholic, the differences are up to 43 followers.
* If Twitdir is compared to Twittercounter the differences are up to 337 followers.
* If Twitterholic is compared to Twittercounter the differences are up to 294 followers.

It looks like that Twitdir Top 100 followed has the most actual data, although some Twitter users are missing. On the other hand Twitdir is the least user friendly. The top 100 is presented in 10 parts, each consisting of 10 Twitter users. Furthermore it takes an awful lot of time to load the 10 pages. If you want a quick overview of all top 100 Twitter users, I would recommend the Twitterholic Top 100.

TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
BarackObama949379489494600
kevinrose66341--66251
leolaporte577715776257703
cnnbrk438804385743628
alexalbrecht386233861838595
MarsPhoenix--3623736182
JasonCalacanis361483613036083
Scobleizer356053559035473
Veronica333933338233333
twitter----31820
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
THErealDVORAK314763147131399
macrumors313763137531353
hotdogsladies276172761427577
TechCrunch267222670526679
ijustine236792367523636
ricksanchezcnn231762317223152
twittervision22982--22915
guykawasaki210872108421061
ev196921968319635
CaliLewis196611965619647
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
Twitterrific193571934419333
rtm19287--19241
StephenColbert188881888118692
chrispirillo187971879018770
wilw187691876018740
patricknorton183651836518345
biz181481814418076
013----18134
twitlive--1746517460
dooce172801727717077
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
laughingsquid167971678516762
chrisbrogan163581634316322
garyvee163561633916267
bloggersblog159011590115889
ambermacarthur154271542315419
darthvader148641485214830
woot146361462714588
gruber144031439814378
hashtags----14220
zappos140881408013983
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
mashable133931338213356
jowyang130741306813044
NotHenryRollins12924----
TwitPic127811277612747
feliciaday125401253412441
zefrank--1236012332
davewiner119621195911947
hodgman118461184211764
dlprager--1181511806
drhorrible--1169811641
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
problogger116521164911631
jakemarsh--1159811600
loiclemeur114351142611403
majornelson10846--10834
Larry--10843--
newmediajim108201081610785
timoreilly108001079210714
DannyTRS107551075510748
Ed10676----
Ed_Dale--1067310646
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
WilHarris106411064010631
wordpress106251061710545
jeffcannata105081050710499
UstreamTV104551044010433
Ihnatko10336--10332
skydiver103081030010265
mollywood102671026510260
twitter_status10003--10009
jack992199149881
zeldman984698459816
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
jonathancoulton9683--9663
SteveJobs9677--9639
macworld963996389603
jkottke961296079592
TUAW950094959482
steverubel942894249418
technorati937493699330
brianshaler933393329331
om--93149292
xenijardin911691129100
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
nytimes878387838759
s----8711
osen----8632
SethGodin8623----
revision3--85558535
cnn842684248410
warrenellis829882938263
gapingvoid8268--8263
missrogue814481418129
factoryjoe806080558050
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
socialmediaclub804780368023
digg802180188000
nprpolitics7986--7909
simplebits778077757767
sarahlane767076637638
Maggie755375547530
acedtect752975277523
BreakingNewsOn747574747462
DanRaine734973497338
Damiano733973327330
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
Dizzed7269----
jeffpulver724972467239
springnet720072007197
PhillyD--7195--
buckhollywood717771797161
CNETNews716571627156
waynesutton71477144--
StephenTColbert70267028--
timer7010----
mybloglog7004----
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
fredwilson69876983--
lonelysandwich--6927--
seesmic6795----
Pistachio67926787--
Zadi67466733--
mozillafirefox--6745--
Borat--6674--
adamcurry66216618--
Mickipedia65866582--
tferriss--6582--
TwitterUserTwitdir top 100Twitterholic top 100Twittercounter top 100
ryanblock--6568--
briansolis--6562--

These figures presented above date from Friday October 10, 2008.

October 10, 2008

Top Twitter Users

For those who are interested in how to find top Twitter users, I have created a collection of links to top lists of Twitter users according to several criteria.

In the first place there are global rankings.

1. Twitterholic

Twitterholic.com offers Top 100 lists based on Followers, Friends and Updates.

2. Twitdir

Twitdir presents Top 100 followed, Top 100 updaters, Top 100 favouriters and Top 100 followers lists.

3. Twittercounter

Twittercounter has a list called The top 100 most popular Twitter users.

4. Twittown

Twittown, the unofficial Twitter community, offers Top 150 followers, Top 150 updates and Top 150 following lists.

5. Twitter Grader

Twitter Grader gives you a grade based on the power of your Twitter profile. It also offers the list with the highest ranked Twitter users.

6. Twitterposter

TwitterPoster is a visual application based on Twitter API. It provides a visual representation of the degree of influence of the Twitter users. It does not present a top list as such, but only top Twitter users are shown.


There are also specialized rankings of Twitter users.

7. Twitstat

Twitstats offers various lists of Twitter users followed by @twitstat : Top 10 today, yesterday, most engaging, most social, happy people, funny people, angry people, tired people, most replies, perfect tweets.

8. Top analyst twitterers / analyst twitter index

On the Technobabble blog, a post in July presented a ranking of analysts.

9. Newspapers that Twitter

Rankings of American newspapers offering Twitter feeds can be found on the graphicdesigner blog. There is a July ranking and an August ranking.

10. Unofficial 2008 Top 50 Tweeples

Finally you can always submit your own Twitter account for the Unofficial 2008 Top 50 Tweeples list.

September 21, 2008

3 million Twitter users

On June 29, 2008 I wrote on this blog that Twitter reached 2 million users - according to Twitdir. Twitter has passed another milestone a few days ago, 3 million users. As Twitdir only "knows" Twitter users with a public profile, the actual number of Twitter users is higher, as discussed in this blogpost.


The growth of Twitter users follows an exponential curve - at least until now. If the same trend continues, 4 million will be reached around mid November. Around Christmas the 5 million mark will be reached. 6 million will be reached around mid January 2009 and 7 million around Mid February. Whatever the trend will be, I will continue to monitor this trend.

September 12, 2008

A few figures

It has been a while since the previous post on this blog. So let's restart with a few figures.

2 months, 2 weeks and 5 days
Time elapsed since the previous post on this blog

24
Number of full time employees at Twitter HQ, mentioned in post on Twitter blog

63
Percentage of male Twitterers, mentioned in Time

99.88
Availability of Twitter in August 2008 according to Pingdom

796,000
Number of Twitter users who have send a message since December 1st, 2007 (in a comment on previous post on this blog)

1,000,000
Number of Twurls already processed by Tweetburner (shortened URLs)

2,927,894
Number of Twitter users currently known to Twitdir

100 million
Registered users of Facebook, reported by ReadWriteWeb

June 29, 2008

2 million Twitter users

On January 6, 2008 I predicted that Twitter would reach 1 million users before April 1, 2008. The source for the number of Twitter users was (and still is) Twitdir. Twitdir finally reported 1 million Twitter users by the end of April. Twitdir announced that their was a flaw in their algorithm to count Twitter users, so the algorithm was changed. The backlog of Twitter users to be detected was caught up several weeks later. Yesterday evening I noticed that Twitdir reported just below 2 million Twitter users. Today the number reported exceeded 2 million.



The oldest Twitter accounts still active were created on March 21, 2006. It took Twitter over 550 days to get to 500,000 users (around the first half of October 2007). 150 days later (around mid March 2008), there were 1 million Twitter users. 50 days later (beginning of May 2008) there were already 1.5 million Twitter users. Another 50 days later Twitter had over 2 million Twitter users (end of June 2008). All these figures are based on the number of users reported by Twitdir.



The question of course is the reliability of the Twitdir figures. I performed a little test. Both Twitter and Twitdir offer the possibility to execute a location based search, returning both the number of Twitter users for a given location. I looked up the number of Twitter users reported by both sources for several locations.



For the 9 search arguments shown above, the number of Twitter users found by Twitdir is 20% to 30% lower than the number found by Twitter itself. It is likely that the number of Twitter reported by Twitter is also an underestmation of the real number. It is possible that there could be at this moment already over 2.5 million Twitter users. Who is capable of providing more insight on this issue ?

June 27, 2008

Failwhales

With the arrival of Twitter, the English vocabulary has gained several new words, Twitter-speak. The Twitter Glossary at the Twitter Fan Wiki is impressive.

I just discovered a new Twitter related new concept, a failwhale. I noticed that several Twitter users who strongly dislike the whale picture informing them that Twitter is not working as expected, changed their profile picture. Their current profile picture is now a failwahle.


Some clever guys have already set up a Twitter account and a website. And furthermore, at Zazzle you can buy failwhale related objects. If Twitter is down again, Twitter users should consider sending out letters or postcards to their followers, each marked with a failwhale stamp.

June 26, 2008

First State of the Twitosphere in France

On this blog I already published several posts with a detailed analysis of the twitosphere in a specific country. From time to time people ask me to have a closer look at their country, e.g. France.

The first question in such an analysis is the number of Twitter users in France. Twitter locates 4371 Twitter users in France (Twitter users who explicitely mention France in their location), Twitdir reports 3367 Twitter users.

Based on the location info in the Twitter profiles, I was able to find 6229 Twitter users in France, still active users. Persons who have closed their Twitter accounts are not included in this number. Because the number of Twitter users not mentioning a true location in their Twitter profile is estimated at around 50%, the actual number of Twitter users in France will probably exceed 6229. With a population of 64.473 million people (source : Wikipedia), the Twitter user density for France is one Twitter account for every 10350 inhabitants. Other European countries have an higher Twitter density, e.g. in Norway there is a Twitter account for every 1350 inhabitants, in The Netherlands there is a Twitter account for every 2800 inhabitants.

History of the Twitter accounts in France
The graph below shows the history of the Twitter accounts from France. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Twitter accounts. Twitter users who haven't published any messages and Twitter users with a private profile (their messages are only visible for their approved followers) are not included in this graph.


Oldest Twitter accounts from France
twitter.com/jdenoy - Johan Denoyer - first message on 18/07/2006
twitter.com/nicoguyon - nicolas guyon - first message on 19/07/2006
twitter.com/danielito - Daniel Gergès - first message on 12/09/2006
twitter.com/tewfiq - tewfiq - first message on 27/09/2006
twitter.com/hakonlo - Håkon Lorentzen - first message on 26/10/2006
twitter.com/i_randulo - fake-randulo - first message on 27/10/2006
twitter.com/zelig - Rafi Haladjian - first message on 5/11/2006
twitter.com/cnicules - ciprian - first message on 6/11/2006
twitter.com/ghotspot - Guy - first message on 16/11/2006
twitter.com/MathieuCoste - Mathieu - first message on 19/11/2006

Private or public
769 Twitter acounts from France or 12% have chosen to keep their updates only available to their friends.

Number of following
A Twitter user can choose to follow one or more other Twitter accounts, called "following". 997 Twitter accounts from France or 16% do not follow other Twitter users. An average Twitter account from France follows 29 Twitter accounts.


Top 10 following
twitter.com/arnaudrobail - rnud Robil - 7.379 following
twitter.com/jeanlucr - Jean-Luc Raymond - 6.313 following
twitter.com/stellafrederic - stellafrederic - 6.260 following
twitter.com/wallpapers - Wallpapers Zone - 5.255 following
twitter.com/neo_igs_police - neo_igs_police - 3.573 following
twitter.com/MMartin - Martin Menu - 1.842 following
twitter.com/HenryMichel - HenryMichel - 1.560 following
twitter.com/LucMandret - Luc Mandret - 1.387 following
twitter.com/valerefagot - valerefagot - 1.213 following
twitter.com/betapolitique - betapolitique.fr - 1.131 following

Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as following and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 279 Twitter users from France or 4% have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as following. The messages published by these Twitter users are only read by themselves (and by search engines). An average Twitter user from France has 32 followers.


Top 10 followers
twitter.com/arnaudrobail - rnud Robil - 2.204 followers
twitter.com/jeanlucr - Jean-Luc Raymond - 2.134 followers
twitter.com/pressecitron - Eric - 1.688 followers
twitter.com/MMartin - Martin Menu - 1.319 followers
twitter.com/FredCavazza - Frédéric CAVAZZA - 1.293 followers
twitter.com/fubiz - Romain Colin - 1.061 followers
twitter.com/MonsieurDream - Monsieur Dream - 1.035 followers
twitter.com/rodrigo1971 - Rodrigo SEPULVEDA - 1.034 followers
twitter.com/fuelmyblog - Kevin Dixie - 909 followers
twitter.com/guim - GuiM - 887 followers

Updates
An update is the term refering to Twitter messages published by a Twitter users. These are also called tweets. The average number of updates for a Twitter users from France is 239. 296 Twitter users (or 5%) are still waiting for their first message to be published. Below you can find two top 10 lists, one with Twitter users where messages are published in an automated way, the second one with "real" Twitter users.


Top 10 updates from "real" Twitter users
twitter.com/Ravana - Ravana - 12.603 updates
twitter.com/strangeblackh - strangeblackhole - 12.163 updates
twitter.com/Bechamel - Jibé - 11.923 updates
twitter.com/Charles_Liebert - Charles Liebert - 9.901 updates
twitter.com/princesszeni - ? zeni - 8.568 updates
twitter.com/dimic - Dimic - 7.747 updates
twitter.com/SimonRobic - Simon Robic - 7.649 updates
twitter.com/jegoun - jegoun - 7.165 updates
twitter.com/seestribe - Jonathan Bonzy - 7.009 updates
twitter.com/stagueve - stagueve - 6.965 updates

Top 10 updates from non human Twitter accounts
twitter.com/lejddfr - lejddfr - 101.639 updates
twitter.com/lci - La Chaine Info - 25.305 updates
twitter.com/fonzz - fonZz - 23.069 updates
twitter.com/xanapa - xanapa - 15.698 updates
twitter.com/FRANCE24 - france24 - 11.831 updates
twitter.com/eddymitchum - Eddy Mitchum - 11.033 updates
twitter.com/funkastik - funkastik - 8.242 updates
twitter.com/pomemail - pomemail - 7.833 updates
twitter.com/le_figaro - le_figaro - 6.755 updates
twitter.com/LeMondeWorld - Le Monde - World - 6.421 updates

Tweet frequency
The tweet frequency is het average number of Twitter messages published on a unit of time, calculcated from the first message published. Twitter accounts created in the last 30 days and Twitter accounts without a Twitter message in the last 30 days were not taken into account.


Top 10 tweet frequency real Twitter users
twitter.com/strangeblackh - strangeblackhole - 52,20 tweets/day
twitter.com/Ravana - Ravana - 30,59 tweets/day
twitter.com/dimic - Dimic - 26,00 tweets/day
twitter.com/rade - radeville - 23,73 tweets/day
twitter.com/waden - Thomas Guillot - 23,55 tweets/day
twitter.com/madd0 - Mauricio DIAZ ORLICH - 22,61 tweets/day
twitter.com/marcvasseur - marcvasseur - 22,07 tweets/day
twitter.com/cpafo - Christopher Rousseau - 20,26 tweets/day
twitter.com/geoffreydorne - Geoffrey Dorne - 18,55 tweets/day
twitter.com/UlrichFR - Ulrich - 18,41 tweets/day

Top 10 tweet frequency non human Twitter accounts
twitter.com/xanapa - xanapa - 71,03 tweets/day
twitter.com/pomemail - pomemail - 49,26 tweets/day
twitter.com/eddymitchum - Eddy Mitchum - 30,14 tweets/day
twitter.com/le_figaro - le_figaro - 21,86 tweets/day
twitter.com/LePoint - LePoint.fr - 19,19 tweets/day
twitter.com/LeMondeWorld - Le Monde - World - 16,51 tweets/day
twitter.com/lesechos - Les Echos - 16,41 tweets/day
twitter.com/GeekMusik - GeekMusik - 15,52 tweets/day
twitter.com/EMSC - EMSC - 13,41 tweets/day
twitter.com/rcstrasbourg - rcstrasbourg - 12,95 tweets/day

Degree of activity
30% of all Twitter users from France have publised at least one message in the last 7 days.
36% of all Twitter users from France have not published a message for more than a month.
17% of all Twitter users from France have published at least message on in the period between 7 and 31 days (older than a week, but in the last month).

12% of all Twitter users from France is private, so no information on their degree activity is available.
On 5% of the Twitter accounts from France not a single message has been published.

Conclusion
The graphs show that there is an active Twitter community in France. It is still growing day by day. The penetration of Twitter in France is however lower than in other European countries. This can be caused by the fact that the Twitter web interface is only available in French (and in Japanese ...). Knowledge of English is not widespread within the French population and people from France tend to stick to their language.

Compared to other countries already analyzed, I was not able to detect many "non human" Twitter accounts, Twitter accounts on which the messages are automatically generated. Examples for such "non human" Twitter accounts are Twitter accounts for news services.

If the Twitter web site would be available in other languages, Twitter would be a greater success, especially in European countries such as France.

June 23, 2008

Tweetburner - clickthrough rates

Tweetburner lets you track what happens with the links you share on Twitter. Links can be recognized as "twurl.nl". Tweetburner is an initiative of two entrepreneurs from The Netherlands.


One of the nice features of Tweetburner is that it generates a lot of statistics. Most of these statistics are even public available to everyone interested. As of this writing, Tweetburner has generated 274418 Twurls (shortened URLs), which have alltogether been clicked 2192254 times. This means that on average each shortened URL has been clicked about 8 times.

I had a closer look at 60 Tweetburner users from The Netherlands, the home country of Tweetburner. The full details of these users can be found in the list below. This list contains probably the most active Tweetburner users from The Netherlands combined with several less active users.

The global average clickthrough rate for Tweetburner shortened URLs is about 8 times. The average clickthrough rate for the observerd Dutch Twitter users varied from 4 (@iPieter) to 54 (@erwblo). The clickthrough rates have to be linked to the number of followers for each of the observed Twitter accounts. If a Twitter user has only a limited number of followers, the number of clicks will be probably low. If on the other hand a Twitter user has very high number of followers, the number of clicks will be (very) low. The ratio of average clicks per number of followers varies for the 60 observed Dutch Tweetburner users from 2% (@pixites - 803 followers) to 91% (@tuecursor - 7 followers).


As the graph illustrates, there seems to be a power relationship between the average number of clicks per follower and the number of followers. Twitter users with a very limited number of followers have very high clickthrough rates. Almost all their followers click on the links in their Twitter messages. Twitter users with a high to very high number of followers have a low clickthrough rate (less then 5%).

This is an analysis of 60 Tweetburners users from the Netherlands. These 60 users have only generated less then 2% of all shortened URLs. It remains to be seen if these conclusions can be extrapolated to all Tweetburner users and even further to all Twitter users using URL shortening services (e.g. tinyurl).

This is the full list of the analyzed 60 Tweetburners users from the Netherlands.

June 11, 2008

TwitArcs

TwitArcs is a new tool to visualize content from Twitter. TwitArcs takes the latest 100 tweets for a twitter ID or term of interest and creates a list representation that has arcs connecting messages sent to the same users or that use the same primary term.

Have a look at the snapshot below, or try it yourself (here).

May 29, 2008

3rd State of the Twitosphere in Belgium

The combination of living in Belgium and being interested in Twitter inspired me in the past to analyze the twitosphere in Belgium. The first analysis of the twitosphere on country level - for Belgium - was published on this blog on April 17 last year (this post). Several months later - on August 16 last year - I published an update.

This is my third attempt to analyze the community of Twitter users in Belgium. I particulary interested in the evolution of Twitter usage. Was the hype over or is the Twitter community still increasing ? The first question in such an analysis is the number of Twitter users in Belgium. Twitter locates 1491 Twitter users in Belgium, Twitdir reports 1252 Twitter users, Terraminds (when it was still available) reported 920.

Based on the location-info in the Twitter profiles, I was able to find 2118 Twitter users in Belgium, still active users. Persons who have closed their Twitter accounts are not included in this number. Because the number of Twitter users not mentioning a true location in their Twitter profile is estimated at around 50%, the actual number of Twitter users in Belgium will probably exceed 2118. With a population of 10.5 million people (source : Wikipedia), the Twitter user density for Belgium is one Twitter account for every 5000 inhabitants.

History of the Twitter accounts in Belgium
The graph below shows the history of the Belgian Twitter accounts. The graph is based on the date of the first message posted on each of the public Belgian Twitter accounts. Twitter users who haven't published any messages and Twitter users with a private profile (their messages are only visible for their approved followers) are not included in this graph.



Oldest Twitter accounts from Belgium

  1. http://twitter.com/marcio - marcio - first message on 26/07/2006
  2. http://twitter.com/zingo - Martin - first message on 22/08/2006
  3. http://twitter.com/BuzzWorkers - Ben Borges - first message on 21/09/2006
  4. http://twitter.com/onepointzero - Colin O'Brien - first message on 22/09/2006
  5. http://twitter.com/lode - Lode - first message on 26/09/2006
  6. http://twitter.com/jacobeus - Nicolas Jacobeus - first message on 28/09/2006
  7. http://twitter.com/roald - Roald - first message on 28/09/2006
  8. http://twitter.com/vpieters - Veerle Pieters - first message on 17/11/2006
  9. http://twitter.com/malchick - Malchick - first message on 18/11/2006
  10. http://twitter.com/nijst - Stijn F. - first message on 18/11/2006


Private or public
243 Twitter acounts from Belgium or 12% have chosen to keep their updates only available to their friends.

Number of following
A Twitter user can choose to follow one or more other Twitter accounts, called "following". 294 Twitter accounts from Belgium or 14% do not follow other Twitter users. An average Twitter account from Belgium follows 25 Twitter accounts.



Top 10 following
  1. http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 1.184 following
  2. http://twitter.com/sidelinemag - Side-Line Magazine - 823 following
  3. http://twitter.com/fotograaf - www.bart.la - 743 following
  4. http://twitter.com/thesisters - Anna & Betty - 484 following
  5. http://twitter.com/quinze - Denis Balencourt - 438 following
  6. http://twitter.com/asimov - Bruno Durdu - 408 following
  7. http://twitter.com/bartvanbelle - Bart Van Belle - 379 following
  8. http://twitter.com/bwards - bwards LIVE! - 350 following
  9. http://twitter.com/nilsgeylen - Nils Geylen - 351 following
  10. http://twitter.com/scharre - Johan Schaerlaeckens - 315 following


Number of followers
A follower is someone who has indicated another Twitter account as following and receives all updates of that other Twitter account. 136 Twitter users from Belgium or 6% have no Twitter followers at all, meaning that no one else on Twitter has indicated this account as following. The messages published by these Twitter users are only read by themselves (and by search engines). An average Twitter user from Belgium has 31 followers.



Top 10 followers
  1. http://twitter.com/vpieters - Veerle Pieters - 2.616 followers
  2. http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 1.193 followers
  3. http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 775 followers
  4. http://twitter.com/aguerra - Andrea Guerra - 528 followers
  5. http://twitter.com/crossthebreeze - Kris Hoet - 494 followers
  6. http://twitter.com/tijs - Tijs - 462 followers
  7. http://twitter.com/bnox - Clo Willaerts - 435 followers
  8. http://twitter.com/Pietel - Pietel - 433 followers
  9. http://twitter.com/mschenk - Maarten Schenk - 379 followers
  10. http://twitter.com/emich - Michael Uyttersprot - 373 followers


Updates
An update is the term refering to Twitter messages published by a Twitter users. These are also called tweets. The average number of updates for a Twitter users from Belgium is 373. 108 Twitter users (or 5%) are still waiting for their first message to be published. Below you can find two top 10 lists, one with Twitter users where messages are published in an automated way, the second one with "real" Twitter users.



Top 10 updates from non human Twitter accounts
  1. http://twitter.com/dsonline - De Standaard Online - 87.331 updates
  2. http://twitter.com/ClopMonitor - ClopMonitor - 48.300 updates
  3. http://twitter.com/rtlinfo - RTL Info - 41.563 updates
  4. http://twitter.com/radioo - radioo - 37.773 updates
  5. http://twitter.com/lesoir - Le Soir - 18.295 updates
  6. http://twitter.com/tijd - De Tijd - 12.311 updates
  7. http://twitter.com/lecho - L'Echo - 11.527 updates
  8. http://twitter.com/belgium_nl - belgium_nl - 10.686 updates
  9. http://twitter.com/radioo_donna - radioo_donna - 10.657 updates
  10. http://twitter.com/vrtnieuwsnet - De Redactie - 8.157 updates


Top 10 updates from "real" Twitter users
  1. http://twitter.com/emich - Michael Uyttersprot - 7.747 updates
  2. http://twitter.com/atog - Koen Van der Auwera - 7.614 updates
  3. http://twitter.com/Kmeron - FrF_Kmeron - 6.159 updates
  4. http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 6.058 updates
  5. http://twitter.com/Inferis - Inferis - 6.036 updates
  6. http://twitter.com/nilsgeylen - Nils Geylen - 4.637 updates
  7. http://twitter.com/studio_stefke - Stefan Van De Velde - 4.567 updates
  8. http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 4.536 updates
  9. http://twitter.com/Mateusz - Mateusz - 4.313 updates
  10. http://twitter.com/imkedielen - Imke Dielen - 3.724 updates


Tweet frequency
The tweet frequency is het average number of Twitter messages published on a unit of time, calculcated from the first message published. Twitter accounts created in the last 30 days were not taken into account.



Top 10 tweet frequency non human Twitter accounts
  1. http://twitter.com/radioo - radioo - 275,18 tweets/day
  2. http://twitter.com/radioo_donna - radioo_donna - 270,26 tweets/day
  3. http://twitter.com/belgium_nl - belgium_nl - 222,40 tweets/day
  4. http://twitter.com/dsonline - De Standaard Online - 212,68 tweets/day
  5. http://twitter.com/ClopMonitor - ClopMonitor - 175,64 tweets/day
  6. http://twitter.com/fmbrussel - FM Brussel Live! - 152,83 tweets/day
  7. http://twitter.com/rtlinfo - RTL Info - 119,70 tweets/day
  8. http://twitter.com/radioo_radio1 - radioo_radio1 - 111,43 tweets/day
  9. http://twitter.com/belgium_fr - belgium_fr - 101,25 tweets/day
  10. http://twitter.com/lesoir - Le Soir - 56,45 tweets/day


Top 10 tweet frequency real Twitter users
  1. http://twitter.com/Kmeron - FrF_Kmeron - 22,08 tweets/day
  2. http://twitter.com/Tjakkahhh - Tjakkahhh - 21,12 tweets/day
  3. http://twitter.com/emich - MichaÃ"l Uyttersprot - 17,66 tweets/day
  4. http://twitter.com/atog - Koen Van der Auwera - 17,47 tweets/day
  5. http://twitter.com/rrradiogirrrl - Sigrid - 15,92 tweets/day
  6. http://twitter.com/vaantje - Thomas - 15,89 tweets/day
  7. http://twitter.com/WimProot - WimProot - 13,79 tweets/day
  8. http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 13,25 tweets/day
  9. http://twitter.com/vrxj81 - Johan Vrolix - 12,00 tweets/day
  10. http://twitter.com/studio_stefke - Stefan Van De Velde - 11,64 tweets/day


Degree of activity
36% of all Twitter users from Belgium have publised at least one message in the last 7 days.
31% of all Twitter users from Belgium have not published a message for more than a month.
17% of all Twitter users from Belgium have published at least message on in the period between 7 and 31 days (older than a week, but in the last month).

12% of all Twitter users from Belgium is private, so no information on their degree activity is available.
On 5% of the Belgian Twitter accounts not a single message has been published.

Conclusion
The graphs show that there is a group of heavy Twitter users in Belgium. There users produce many tweets, they follow lots of other users, they are being followed by lots of other users. On the other hand there is a large portion of Twitter accounts that can be considered as probable inactif : not a single message or a very small number of messages, no or only a few followers, no or only a few following, a lot of time since the last tweet. Between these two extremes there is large group of the remaining Twitter users.

I was a little bit surprized to notice that the growth of the Twitter user in Belgium has not stopped yet, it even looks that the growth rate is even increasing. This surprized me because of the group of A-list bloggers in Belgium (who were the first to find their way to Twitter) already started using Twitter a long time ago. Twitter is attracting new users who probably do not have a blog. The growth of Twitter amongst Belgians clearly shows that the Twitter platform fulfills a need.