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Twitter users not sticking around: Nielsen

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 28, 2009
More than 60 percent of Twitter users have stopped using the micro-blogging service a month after joining, according to Nielsen Online research released on Tuesday.

"Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty," said David Martin, Nielsen Online's vice president for primary research.

Martin, in a post on the company blog, said that more than 60 percent of Twitter users fail to return the following month.

"Or in other words, Twitter's audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month's users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent," he said.

"Let there be no doubt: Twitter has grown exponentially in the past few months with no small thanks to celebrity exposure," he said in a reference to new users such as US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and promoters such as actor Ashton Kutcher.

"People are signing up in droves, and Twitter's unique audience is up over 100 percent in March," Martin said.

"But despite the hockey-stick growth chart, Twitter faces an uphill battle in making sure these flocks of new users are enticed to return to the nest," he said.

"A retention rate of 40 percent will limit a site's growth to about a 10 percent reach figure," he said in a reference to the number of potential users.

Martin said that when Facebook and MySpace were emerging networks like Twitter their retention rates were twice as high and they now have retention rates of nearly 70 percent.

Martin did say that Twitter's current 40 percent retention rate was better than the 30 percent it enjoyed pre-Oprah.

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