Small obstacles in Twitters ascent?

Nowadays, there is lots of hype around Twitter, with for instance Oprah Winfrey using and promoting it and Ashton Kutcher almost reaching 2 million followers. Also companies like CNN and NY Times are making their way to Twitter big time. These are all important steps towards making Twitter a mass market service.

The question though remains whether it’s a hype or a trend. For most early adopters Twitter may seem quite useful, but will the mass market find it attractive in the long run? I found two data points that add some small question marks.

At All Things D, the D conference, Walt Mossberg talks with Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter. In the video you can see some results from a poll run by a research company about twitter usage.

  • 14% of Americans have a Twitter account.
  • Of those, less than half use it more than once a month.
  • Mossberg quotes from memory that 19% of the users use it daily or more: 2,7% of Americans.

Williams admits that turning awareness into engagement is the big challenge at the moment.

Another survey – run by PMN – indicates that Gen Y, though being heavy users of social networks, do not jump massively on the Twitter bandwagon: “only” 22% use it. This above the general population average, but intuitively one could expect it to be higher than 22%. The research unfortunately does not get into details of what causes this relative lack of interest.

It is clear that Twitter is gaining traction, but there are still quite some obstacles with particularly engaging new and young users.

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