Twitter: the HyperGrowth will come to an end

In October the HyperGrowth of Twitter came to an unexpected [preliminary] end. Ever since last summer, Twitter’s growth in the U.S. has been hyping. But in October, the number of people who visited Twitter.com from the U.S. actually declined for the first time by 8 percent month-over-month: 19.2 million unique visitors, down from 20.9 million in September. Is this downturn a surprise? No, we guess.

Twitter’s downturn was contrasted by the announcement of facebook, that they have surpassed the number of 350 million users. Facebook’s growth and user acceptance is still impressive. It has the simple and understandable concept of connecting friends and enable them to share information over it’s platform. It is a mass medium in the true sense of the word.

Twitter by contrast is a rather sophisticated information network (©Biz Stone).  The conceptual complexity of Twitter with it’s open and highly fragmented system is certainly one of the reasons for the extremely low retention rate of 40%. This low retention rate alone will be a roadblocker for a sustainable long-term growth. Not to mention HyperGrowth.

Beside the conceptual complexity Twitter’s strategic positioning and it’s bipolar coverage of the WebCommunity constitutes a major obstacle to further HyperGrowth. On the one side Twitter is heavily used by the InfoElite and on the other side it’s kind of a GossipChannel. Bloggers use Twitter much more than does the general population. In a poll done in May 2009 for the WSJ just 14% of the general population used Twitter contrasted by 73% of Bloggers that use Twitter (including 83% of Corporates and 88% of Self-Employeds). Those who use Twitter say they do so to promote their blogs, bring interesting links to light, and to understand what people are buzzing about. 50% of Part Timers say they use Twitter to market their businesses and only 9% use Twitter to spread Celebrity news and other Gossips. Given these facts Twitter is evidently a Medium for Bloggers, Marketing People and other InfoJunkies.

Twitter is a perfect tool for the InfoElite as it communicates Headlines and (short) Links. For those people each tweet is an electrical synapse carrying  them forward to more information. But the InfoElite alone will not be able to fuel an ongoing HyperGrowth. We see the total number of private and corporate bloggers will be the natural barrier for HyperGrowth. And we assume, that this barrier will be at around 80 to 100 million unique visitors per month. Twitter must not be compared to facebook in terms of growth opportunities.

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One Response to “Twitter: the HyperGrowth will come to an end”

  1. Is Twitter about to become the Netscape of Real-Time-Web « MexxBuzz's Notes Says:

    […] Twitter: The HyperGrowth Will Come to an End Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Parallels are UncannyTweeter goes to Television […]

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