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 ?


Unknown said...

I love the stats! Would love to know more about how you mine all that data. (You probably arleady know you can make a ton of money doing it!) An article I'd love to see is what is the order that people's photos are posted in, I'm guessing it's in order of joining, but perhaps not.

Why aren't you posting your twitter name? Don't care about followers?

Anonymous said...

Number of users unknown, but two facts we do know:
- We've proven that there are users that have their location set to a country and they do not appear when searching for that country. Twitter refered us to summize for a better search, but that one checks twitter updates, not users. So, definitely Twitter results are an underestimation
- We blogged about a week and a half ago that Twitter reached its user id 16 million. We do not have the patience to figure out if they skipped any, but the lowest id is @jack with 12

Anonymous said...

www.twitter-starsigns.com is a new twitter service, which allows twitter users to get their daily horoscope via twitter - it's pretty cool!

Thanks for a great blog, so useful reading up about twitter in such detail :)

Anonymous said...

Doing some research for a new product we're soon to be offering, I did a user count and the total number of users we've seen send a message since December 1st, 2007 is 796,000. In addition, we're seeing about 260,000 users sending messages over recent 5-7 day periods. Stay tuned.

David Sterry
Tweet Scan

Pull and Bear Catalogo said...

Why are not you posting your twitter name? do not care about followers?

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