Twitter users are quitters
Despite its meteoric growth, blogging website Twitter seems to be suffering from a lack of user loyalty.
Over 60% of those who sign up to the site stop using it after just a month.
That is one of the findings in a survey by Nielsen Online, which states that the amount of people who come back to the site after a month’s use is surprisingly low, prompting fears that Twitter’s sudden surge in popularity will be a short-term affair.
Nielsen Online’s VP for primary research David Martin, commented: “Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty.”
He added that for most of the past 12 months, Twitter has languished below 30% retention, while the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month at the moment is currently about 40%. Martin adds that while a decent retention rate does not guarantee a site bigger audience figures, it “is a prerequisite”.
In contrast to other social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook, whose user loyalty is relatively stable, Twitter has experienced a series of peaks and troughs where the site has gained and waned in loyalty.
Martin believes that, at its current rate of popularity, Twitter will “not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty.”
Setting up a Twitter account is easy, but learning the terms used on the site, with its “RT” retweets and #hashtags can be intimidating for newcomers. It is also difficult to build up followers and work out who to follow on Twitter, spawning an industry of sketchy services that promise to build up a Twitter following.
Nielsen Online CEO John Burbank says Twitter’s utility is still being developed, and users are waiting for it to add more of a clear-cut benefit to their lives.