Here comes another Twitter usage study painting a grim picture for the microblogging service. While all indirect measurements have a certain degree of uncertainty, in lieu of actual data coming from Twitter, which is not likely to happen any time soon by the looks of things, these will have to do. The research, from online metrics company RJMetrics, has found that there are now 75 million Twitter users worldwide, not a bad number, but that of those only 17 percent actively use the service.
"When you look at new account registrations, no one can deny that Twitter is still growing like a rocket ship. That's good," Robert J. Moore, CEO and founder of RJMetrics, wrote. "However, upon closer inspection, the rate of new user sign-ups has dropped meaningfully from its peak and many new users never do anything with their accounts. That's bad. Furthermore, the percentage of accounts sending out tweets has steadily declined over the past six months. That's worse."
Despite the dramatic trends, new users still sign up for the service, in fact, 6.2 million people did so in December alone. This is 20 percent lower than the peak number of new users Twitter reached in July, but it's still a very respectable number. The problem is that most of these new users don't engage with the service or, if they do, they get bored quickly.
The study found that 25 percent of Twitter accounts had no followers, which is surprising with the number of spam accounts that follow people in mass. A further 40 percent have never sent a tweet so far, and they're probably not going to start now. 80 percent have sent fewer than ten tweets. In total, only about 17 percent of all users sent even one tweet in December, the lowest figure in Twitter history. For its part, Twitter is recognizing the problem and is doing what it can to alleviate it. At the same time it's also claiming that it's seeing some of its biggest usage in history.