Study finds Twitter users are quick quitters

Why all these questions? Because according to a study, more than 60 percent of Twitter users stopped using the site a month after joining.

“Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent. For most of the past 12 months, pre-Oprah, Twitter has languished below 30 percent retention.” writes David Martin, vice president of Primary Research for Nielsen Online.

Martin added that a high retention rate doesn’t guarantee a massive audience, but it is a prerequisite. Based on the study, there are more Twitter quitters than new Twitter registrants. A retention rate of 40 percent will limit a site’s growth to about a 10 percent reach figure.

Compared to social networking sites Facebook and Mypace when they’re emerging, their retention rates were twice as high, their current retention rate is about 70%.

The data given is definitely a setback to Twitter and to the print doomsayers. Twitter may have a huge number of members but loyalty is an important factor in a website success. Twitter users may view the site just as a service for communication, but to the site owners it is a business as well. A site with no loyal users simply means no reliable demographics and no reliable data, two important information for advertisers. How can a website sustain its services without a definite revenue stream?

The flexibility of Twitter may have contributed to the result of the study. One can twitter in a lot of ways and not just by visiting the site. I just don’t know what formula or method did Nielsen Online used for this study.

One should also understand that there are curious users and serious users. Perhaps there are those who simply register out of curiosity and did not understand what the site is all about. You don’t expect loyalty from curious users.

Perhaps a better formula to test the popularity of Twitter is to measure the number of postings it is getting in a day, week or month minus the spams. The number of Twits will give us a better measurement if Twitter is here to stay or if Twitter is simply a fad.

Like what I said before, the sheer number of visitors to a site is not enough measurement of its marketing effectivity. The quality of its audience. loyalty and its purchasing power will be key.

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