Twitter faces user retention problems

By Justin Mann on April 29, 2009, 1:57 PM
When you talk about the big social networking sites prevalent today, a lot of emphasis is often put on the sheer number of users these sites cater to. MySpace and Facebook, for instance, have a collective user base that well exceeds 300 million. Normally, you'd think of those figures as having a slow but steady climb. Unfortunately for Twitter, an up and comer in terms of subscribers, they are facing the exact opposite.

It seems that Twitter is a service many people respond to, at least initially. New subscribers sign up at record speeds, only to disappear the following month. At its worst, it seems Twitter was losing 70% of their new users after the first month. Having improved somewhat this year, they still face a problem of 60% loss on new accounts. A representative for the research company Nielsen posted some interesting statistics that show very volatile growth for the service compared to its rivals.

Though the user base is still growing as a whole, the concern is that eventually all new users will be exhausted and growth will halt, or even worse, reverse. The simplicity of Twitter makes it easy for people to get into. At the same time, however, does the service offer enough to keep people around or is it more of a novelty that quickly wears off?

User Comments: 4

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bavon said:
Why, well the skins are pretty lame for starters. On the whole FaceBook, Messenger, Twitter and Flckr are lame. I get everything I need from my Windows Live setup. Maybe Twitter makes more sense linked to a mobile or Blackberry but I still use an old Nokia because it has an analog ring tone which, unlike digital ringtones, I can actually hear above the ambient city noise. ( A slight digression there )
tengeta said:
I started a myspace my sophomore year of high school, and I rarely use that anymore.I can't even try facebook or twitter, it seems like such a joke to me lol...
Relic said:
Could be due to all that Twitter popularity on news and TV shows, got people signing up trying it then fading away. Personally I don't use it, only use Facebook signed up when it first came out for colleges only. Rarely check it now, 4-5 times a month maybe.
Julio said:
Blame it to online hype and the high profile (yet somewhat stupid) bloggers behind it. Just like Facebook was said to be the next Google (it isn't), Twitter will eventually fail to become the next Facebook.
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