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
- http://twitter.com/marcio - marcio - first message on 26/07/2006
- http://twitter.com/zingo - Martin - first message on 22/08/2006
- http://twitter.com/BuzzWorkers - Ben Borges - first message on 21/09/2006
- http://twitter.com/onepointzero - Colin O'Brien - first message on 22/09/2006
- http://twitter.com/lode - Lode - first message on 26/09/2006
- http://twitter.com/jacobeus - Nicolas Jacobeus - first message on 28/09/2006
- http://twitter.com/roald - Roald - first message on 28/09/2006
- http://twitter.com/vpieters - Veerle Pieters - first message on 17/11/2006
- http://twitter.com/malchick - Malchick - first message on 18/11/2006
- 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
- http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 1.184 following
- http://twitter.com/sidelinemag - Side-Line Magazine - 823 following
- http://twitter.com/fotograaf - www.bart.la - 743 following
- http://twitter.com/thesisters - Anna & Betty - 484 following
- http://twitter.com/quinze - Denis Balencourt - 438 following
- http://twitter.com/asimov - Bruno Durdu - 408 following
- http://twitter.com/bartvanbelle - Bart Van Belle - 379 following
- http://twitter.com/bwards - bwards LIVE! - 350 following
- http://twitter.com/nilsgeylen - Nils Geylen - 351 following
- 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
- http://twitter.com/vpieters - Veerle Pieters - 2.616 followers
- http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 1.193 followers
- http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 775 followers
- http://twitter.com/aguerra - Andrea Guerra - 528 followers
- http://twitter.com/crossthebreeze - Kris Hoet - 494 followers
- http://twitter.com/tijs - Tijs - 462 followers
- http://twitter.com/bnox - Clo Willaerts - 435 followers
- http://twitter.com/Pietel - Pietel - 433 followers
- http://twitter.com/mschenk - Maarten Schenk - 379 followers
- http://twitter.com/emich - Michael Uyttersprot - 373 followers
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
- http://twitter.com/dsonline - De Standaard Online - 87.331 updates
- http://twitter.com/ClopMonitor - ClopMonitor - 48.300 updates
- http://twitter.com/rtlinfo - RTL Info - 41.563 updates
- http://twitter.com/radioo - radioo - 37.773 updates
- http://twitter.com/lesoir - Le Soir - 18.295 updates
- http://twitter.com/tijd - De Tijd - 12.311 updates
- http://twitter.com/lecho - L'Echo - 11.527 updates
- http://twitter.com/belgium_nl - belgium_nl - 10.686 updates
- http://twitter.com/radioo_donna - radioo_donna - 10.657 updates
- http://twitter.com/vrtnieuwsnet - De Redactie - 8.157 updates
Top 10 updates from "real" Twitter users
- http://twitter.com/emich - Michael Uyttersprot - 7.747 updates
- http://twitter.com/atog - Koen Van der Auwera - 7.614 updates
- http://twitter.com/Kmeron - FrF_Kmeron - 6.159 updates
- http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 6.058 updates
- http://twitter.com/Inferis - Inferis - 6.036 updates
- http://twitter.com/nilsgeylen - Nils Geylen - 4.637 updates
- http://twitter.com/studio_stefke - Stefan Van De Velde - 4.567 updates
- http://twitter.com/robinwauters - Robin Wauters - 4.536 updates
- http://twitter.com/Mateusz - Mateusz - 4.313 updates
- http://twitter.com/imkedielen - Imke Dielen - 3.724 updates
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
- http://twitter.com/radioo - radioo - 275,18 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/radioo_donna - radioo_donna - 270,26 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/belgium_nl - belgium_nl - 222,40 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/dsonline - De Standaard Online - 212,68 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/ClopMonitor - ClopMonitor - 175,64 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/fmbrussel - FM Brussel Live! - 152,83 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/rtlinfo - RTL Info - 119,70 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/radioo_radio1 - radioo_radio1 - 111,43 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/belgium_fr - belgium_fr - 101,25 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/lesoir - Le Soir - 56,45 tweets/day
Top 10 tweet frequency real Twitter users
- http://twitter.com/Kmeron - FrF_Kmeron - 22,08 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/Tjakkahhh - Tjakkahhh - 21,12 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/emich - MichaÃ"l Uyttersprot - 17,66 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/atog - Koen Van der Auwera - 17,47 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/rrradiogirrrl - Sigrid - 15,92 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/vaantje - Thomas - 15,89 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/WimProot - WimProot - 13,79 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/netlash - Bart - 13,25 tweets/day
- http://twitter.com/vrxj81 - Johan Vrolix - 12,00 tweets/day
- 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.
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.