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Twitter growth leveling off? Really? And if so, does it matter?

by Jeffrey Mann  |  January 21, 2010  |  1 Comment

The Internets are agog with speculation on numbers showing that the previously meteoric growth in Twitter users is beginning to sputter and slow down. Is this the end of the road for Twitter as the media darling? I’m not so sure.


First, Hubspot’s measurements show that the rate of growth is slowing, not that Twitter is in decline. Growth is still good, especially in this economy. While 13% is better than 4%, growing at all is good. Given the huge growth they have been having, I am not surprised that it is slowing, especially given the big surges that came from the plane landing on the Hudson, the Iranian protests and the Arrival of Oprah.

fail whale 300x225 What Twitters Massive Traffic Growth Slowdown Means For Us AllSecond, while the number of users is not growing as fast as it was, many of the other indicators are positive. Users are more engaged, better behaved, and more spread out around the world. So while one number is down, all of the others showed improvement.

Third, so what if user growth is slowing down? It already has achieved a pretty good scale, enough to drive insights based on the constantly-growing real time content pool. Surely, bigger would be even better, but it’s already big enough to do interesting things.

Longer term, I think that a slowdown is inevitable. While Twitter is pre-eminent in North America, Australia and Europe, other players like Plurk, Me2day and Zuosa have had a chance to establish themselves in Asia. Facebook is busily adopting Twitter features. The market will inevitably split geographically and by interest group at some point. That doesn’t mean that it’s all over for Twitter, but it does mean that the microblogging market looks like it is starting to grow up.

Category: consumerization  microblogging  social-media  social-software  twitter-vendors  

Tags: sotwitter  hubspot  microblogging  twitter  

Jeffrey Mann
Research VP
14 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Jeffrey Mann is a research vice president for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research. Mr. Mann focuses on social software, team workspaces, the collaboration market and knowledge management. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Twitter growth leveling off? Really? And if so, does it matter?

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Mann and Jeff Mann, Jonny Bentwood. Jonny Bentwood said: RT @jeffmann: So what if Twitter growth is slowing? #SOTwitter #gartnerblogs < good post, not slowing but maturing […]

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