A recent Pew Research Center study shed some light on Twitter usage.

  • 72 percent posting personal life updates, with 19 percent doing so daily.
  • 62 percent share work life, activities or interests, 12 percent daily.
  • 55 percent (12 percent daily) share news story links.
  • 54 percent (16 percent daily) make humorous or philosophical observations about life in general.
  • 53 percent (18 percent daily) re-tweet material posted by others.
  • 40 percent (12 percent daily) share photos.
  • 28 percent (8 percent daily) share videos.
  • 24 percent (7 percent daily) tweet their location.

It’s interesting to note the diversity of ways people are using the service. As Twitter has evolved & embraced it’s position as an information network / communications platform, it makes sense a varied set of uses would emerge. Another interesting takeaway from the data is to what degree Twitter has become a mainstream product. Living in Silicon Valley, it’s easy to think at times that a specific product or problem is widely known, when in fact, it’s only being felt in the “echo chamber” that we live in. For a consumer service, it’s crucial to reach a mainstream audience and not build for too small a niche of early adopters. Twitter has definitely reached mainstream awareness, the question is whether it becomes a major part of life for the mainstream public. For Twitter to achieve this, a key tactic must be to not try and be all things to all people, but rather fulfill a few certain use cases / pain points really well.

Article on SFGate
Pew Research Center study