An In-Depth Look at the 5% of Most Active Users
By Sysomos Inc.
Alex Cheng and Mark Evans
When Sysomos published its initial "Inside Twitter" report last month that looked at the people on Twitter and how it was being used, we discovered that 5% of users accounted for 75% of all activity. This finding was based on indexing 11.5 million accounts, and then looking at the top 5% users who accounted for most number of Tweets.
Not surprisingly, we wanted to learn more about this enthusiastic group, and their activity on Twitter.
We found that 32% of all tweets made by the most active Twitter users were generated by machine bots that posted more than 150 tweets/day. The actual percentage of machine-generated tweets among the most active users is probably higher than 32% because there many bots that update less than 150 times/day.
Based on our previous "Inside Twitter" report and this report on the most active users, 24% or one-quarter of all tweets overall, are generated by these very active bots.
Many of these bots, however, are not spam, with some examples being @diggupdates, @deliciousrecent, @imdb, @twitseeker, @rosehose, @ladyreporter, @nieuwslijstnl, @dogbook, @ combatsi. The last three on the list - news updates from Netherlands (@nieuwslijstnl), real-time updates on what pets are doing (@dogbook), and updates from Second Life game (@combatsi) - each generate more than 2,000 tweets/day and rank as the most active bots.
Among the things that we discovered about the most active Twitter users are that:
- Of the most active Twitter users updating more than 150 times/day, nearly all of them are bots operated by sources such as hotels offering deals, regional and national news services, regional weather services, the top news within Digg, games, anim services, tags within del.icio.us and financial aggregators. These very active bots account for one-quarter of all tweets.
- Among the most active Twitter users with more than 50,000 followers, we find singer Tyrese (@tyrese4real), actress Alyssa Milano (@alyssa_milano), celebrity Tila Tequila (@officialtila), tv host Jonathan Ross (@wossy) and evangelist Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki).
- 60.6% of the most active Twitter users live in the United States, while 6.9% are located in the U.K, 4.7% in Japan, and 4.3% in Canada.
- The split between genders among the most active Twitter users is fairly balanced with 54% male, 46% female.
- 88% of the most active Twitter users have never missed a day without making at least one update, while another 2.1% have only been inactive for one day.
- 48% have more than 100 followers, compared with 6.3% for overall Twitter users.
- 44% of more than 100 friends, compared with 7.5% overall.
- 33.7% of the most active Twitter users have joined Twitter this year, compared with 72.5% of overall Twitter users who have signed up this year
- The most popular keywords within bios are Internet marketing, music lover, Web designer, video games, and husband/father.
"It's a fascinating exercise to really focus on the most enthusiastic Twitter users, and what they are doing" said Nick Koudas, Sysomos' co-founder and chief executive.
"Our findings, particularly the percentage of tweets contributed by bots, is definitely eye-opening and we hope they shed light on how Twitter is used today and by whom. We think this is one of the first reports to focus on the most active members of the Twitter community to provide interesting insight and perspective. We will continue our updates with additional analysis of the micro-blogging service."
To discuss this report on Twitter, use the hashtag #sysomossurvey or copy us @sysomos.
Among the Twitter users with more than 50,000 followers, here is a list of top 25 users with the highest number tweets on a day at average.
This list includes users such as the singer Tyrese (@tyrese4real with 37 tweets daily), actress Alyssa Milano (@alyssa_milano with 37 tweets daily), celebrity Tila Tequila (@officialtila with 33 tweets daily), tv host Jonathan Ross (@wossy with 37 tweets daily), writer Ryan Penagos (@agent_m with 33 tweets daily), evangelist Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki with 39 tweets daily), and blogger Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan with 43 tweets daily).
|Twitter User||Tweets/Day||Followers||Total Tweets||Bio|
|moooris||108.64||589,703||50,699||I'm MO-RIS. MountainBike and BMX rider. Sorry, I use Japanese only. but I can understand English a little. http://iddy.jp/profile/mo-ris|
|alohaarleen||101.09||77,715||30,555||Live Aloha! Give Mahalo! Embrace and delight in your passions!|
|waynemansfield||86.16||63,660||17,037||The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn - Alvin Toffler|
|davemalby||63.89||86,163||21,498||Entrepreneur Extraordinaire! I've varied interests. Share with me what you've got!|
|radioblogger||56.65||107,160||12,791||Senior producer of the Hugh Hewitt Show, heard all over the country on the Salem Radio Network.|
|barefoot_exec||56.57||65,686||25,113||My Mission? To educate, empower, encourage and entertain men and women in business through speaking, writing, connecting and coaching! Profit w/Purpose!|
|mike_wesely||56.43||75,455||31,121||Video + Optin = Success, Internet Marketer, http://TwitTalk.tv Twitter SEO & Business Positioning Expert, Life Coach,Trainer, Author,Google Marketing Secret|
|ggw_bach||53.97||53,582||11,241||composer and writer, dreamer and thinker. i do original material :-)|
|rockingjude||49.85||68,485||18,581||One Person CAN make a difference!! Geoeconomics and advocate for less government, no FED. We are no longer America.|
|chrisbrogan||43.47||89,641||46,070||President, New Marketing Labs, a social media agency and education company. Email: blog at chrisbrogan dot com|
|djc8080||42.22||80,181||4,819||tweet DJ for 480,000 members. #topHr news, weekly shows, and live chats. Learn, sing, enjoy. Join the party!|
|nytimes||39.25||1,527,825||34,642||Where the Conversation Begins. Front page stories from NYTimes.com, the web site of The New York Times.|
|guykawasaki||39.19||157,403||27,902||RSSurai with Annie Colbert, Gina Ruiz, and Bill Meade|
|wossy||37.08||386,746||7,674||Number One Twitter Detective.|
|tyrese4real||37.04||341,755||4,470||The World's Greatest!!|
|alyssa_milano||36.78||140,520||3,919||Peace, love and BASEBALL. This is my official page. I tweet a lot. Consider yourself forewarned.|
|officialtila||33.05||218,382||9,636||My name is TILA TEQUILA and yes, this is really me, and yes I respond and read EVERYONE's messages! Follow me for a fun time! xox|
|schofe||32.81||221,915||5,536||Was on TV, Twittered once... Never seen in public again|
|agent_m||32.74||932,497||27,920||Marvel.com writer/editor/blogger. Comics! See also: @Marvel and tacosporvida.wordpress.com|
|estelledarlings||31.54||69,928||8,399||all things famous and fabulous..|
|time||29.22||1,213,538||13,310||Breaking news and current events from around the globe Hosted by TIME's @danielroger.|
|craigteich||29.21||63,779||6,783||Hubby to @JennryRed, Poppa2x, Founder of QuantumLeverage. I'm no Branding & Marketing Expert, but I play one on TV. I invented the doughnut.|
|judyrey||29.06||73,834||17,657||Artist, Author, Founder of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art http://artofseeingthedivine.com|
|jeanettejoy||29.04||60,437||19,722||Design Psychology expert, author, speaker, teacher, who loves writing, creating, traveling, reading, and driving fast cars. http://bamboowomen.com/blog|
The Facts: Of Twitter's 5% of most active users, 60.6% live in the U.S. This is not a surprise given 62.1% of Twitter users overall live in the U.S., based on Sysomos' "Inside Twitter' report. As well, it's not surprising to see people from the U.K. and Canada rank among the most active users.
It is interesting, however, that 4.69% of the most active Twitters users are based in Japan. This stands in stark contrast to how Japanese Twitter users account for just 0.71% of the total population - a seven-fold difference. Twitter has been popular in Japan since early 2007, and its growth was bolstered by the launch of an official Japanese version in April 2008.
The Facts: There are more men (54%) among the top 5% of Twitter users than women (46%). This compares to overall Twitter users in which women account for 53% and men, 47%.
The Facts: Among the top 5% of Twitters users, only 7.6% update less than once/day, compared with 85.3% of Twitters users overall who update less than once a day. As well, 40.5% of the most active Twitter users update more than five times/day, compared to 2.2% overall; while 16.5% update more than 10 times/day, compared with 1.12% of overall users.
The Facts: 88% of the top 5% of Twitters users post an update every day. This compares with 36% of overall Twitter users. Of the top 5% of Twitter users, only 6.3% have been inactive for more than five days.
The Facts: Of the top 5% of Twitters users, 48% have more than 100 followers, compared with 6.3% for overall Twitter users. In addition, 3.33% of the most active users have more than 2,000 followers, compared with 0.29% overall.
The Facts: Not surprisingly, the most active Twitter users have more friends than the general population. 44% have more than 100 friends, compared with 7.5% overall. As well, 12.1% of the most active Twitter users have more than 500 friends, compared just 1.8% of overall users.
Of the most active Twitter users, 33.7% started using the service this year, highlighted by 10.5% who joined in March when Twitter started to attract mainstream media attention. In April, the total for most active users fell to 5.6%, which suggests growth took a breather after a huge rush earlier in the year. In comparison, 72.5% of Twitter's total users signed up this year, including 22.7% in March and 19.7% in April.
In examining more than 80 million updates made since July 23, ReTweets among the most active users accounted for 5.06% of their activity - about 20% higher than overall users which is 4.02%.
For active Twitter user with more than 1000 followers, the leading keywords are "Internet marketer", "Internet marketing", "business marketing" and "entrepreneur"
For active Twitters users with less than 1000 followers, the leading keywords are "Web designer", "graphic designer", "love", and "Web developer"
The word cloud below shows the top mentioned words in Asian language profiles, many of which are Japanese city names.
Sysomos analyzed more than 11.5 million Twitter accounts, including the indexing of user profiles and status updates. Location and age information is based on information disclosed in their profile pages. Genders are based on the analysis of user's real names as disclosed against extensive lists of male and female names.
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To discuss this report on Twitter, use the hashtag #sysomossurvey or copy us @sysomos.
Sysomos has collected a comprehensive collection of data from Twitter user profiles and updates. We will be publishing our analysis of this ever-changing and growing data on a regular basis. To leave comments (including the kind of information you would like to see in future) about this report, visit our blog.