Twitter Enjoys Major Growth and Excellent Stickiness

So far in 2010, Twitter’s usage has continued to show significant growth. Last month, Twitter said the number of tweets per day had climbed to 50 million.

We wanted to to explore Twitter’s growth in the U.S. and internationally over the past few months, as well as assess its “stickiness” as a service.

To gain more insight into what’s happening on Twitter, Sysomos examined more than one billion tweets over the past four months. We also analyzed each tweet for their location based on the information provided by users within their profiles.

Our analysis shows the number of tweets per day has soared 30% in the past four months to about 53 million in late-March, compared with 40 million in early-December.

On a month-over-month-basis, tweet growth was 22.7% in January, 13% in February and 14.6% in March.

In looking at the growth in tweets geographically, there has been stronger growth outside the U.S. in the past three months pointing to steady international growth.

In January, outside the U.S. the number of tweets jumped 13% from December, compared with 10% in the U.S. In February, month-over-month growth was 9% and 4% respectively, while it was 8% and 5% respectively in March.

Note: The overall growth numbers in the first graph are higher than the non-U.S./U.S. graph because they include Twitter users who did not disclose their location.

We also explored the behavior of Twitter users based on how long they had been using the service to understand Twitter’s “stickiness”. In particular, we were interested in looking at two groups: new Twitter users and more experienced users to glean insight into the activity of groups at opposite ends of the spectrum.

We discovered that people who had been on Twitter for less than three months kept a steady presence, accounting for about 22% of total tweets in each of the past four months. This suggests new users are sticking around and establishing a solid presence.

People who had been on Twitter for more than nine months increased their activity in a major way to 41.6% of total tweets in March from 26% in December. This suggests that as people spend more time on Twitter, they tweet more frequently.

The chart below shows the fraction of tweets contributed by users grouped by how they started using Twitter. The table shows how long ago a user joined and fraction of tweets contributed by them.

Overall, the numbers confirm Twitter’s steady growth (largely outside the U.S.), while maintaining its excellent retention and stickiness.