Monday, 25 August 2008

Twitter demographics - middle aged men now the biggest user segment (!)

Writing in Time magazine, Bill Tancer from Hitwise has given insight into Twitter user profile data. There are a number of systems that allow analysis of what Twitter users are posting, but it is much harder to analyse who they are. I have previously discussed statistics showing Twitter's global reach and was interested to see the Twitter demoographic information that Bill Tancer and Hitwise found.

MAY 10 UPDATE - latest Twitter demographics and usage figures here

The key points about Twitter demographics from the Hitwise data:

- males make up 63% of Twitterers
- California residents account for more than 57% of Twitter's visitors
- Twitter's largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds who make up 25.9% of its users.
- 14.7% of Twitter visitors are type H03 a.k.a the "Stable Career," comprising a "collection of young and ethnically diverse singles living in big-city metros like Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami." The Stable Career tends to work in the arts and entertainment industry, drive small cars and espouse very liberal political views.
- 12.3% of Twitter's visitors are H01 a.k.a. the "Young Cosmopolitan," 40-somethings likely to drive a Prius, earn household incomes over $250,000 per year and also identify with very liberal politics.

So Twitter is no longer dominated by the 18-24 age group, according to Hitwise, middle aged men are now the key drivers! This may be in line with Twitter moving from being a 'my cats been sick' status reporter, to being used more as a distribution network and feed reader?

When Compete analysed Twitter user data in April 2008 though, they found that the 18-24 year old age group was still the most significant Twitter audience:

Twitter User data from Compete blog (click for larger image)
[hat tip to Beth for highlighting this]

There is therefore an interesting disagreement in Twitter user profile data findings between Compete and Hitwise. I guess the different methodologies and the fact that Compete data was produced 6 months ago will have something to do with the variances?

Either way the key take out is that Twitter is not just 18-24 year olds using the service as an SMS substitute. Older, professional (male) audiences are key Twitter user demographics too!

Follow me on Twitter - @nickburcher

Related posts
Huge increase in UK Twitter use
Twitter - the new toy for UK celebrities
Twitter hits the mainstream in the UK
Tony Benn, Janet Exxon and Twitter fakes - protecting your brand on Twitter
The Twitter Song
Britney Spears on Twitter and following me!

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Anonymous said...

I strongly doubt that middle aged males are the ones most likely taking up twitter.

I think Hitwise's data is skewed because they monitor the internet activity of the account holder, not necessarily the individuals within the households.

Nick Burcher said...

I think the key thing is that Hitwise etc don't get stats on all Twitter use, they only pick up people who directly access Twitter through the Twitter website.

This is a big shortcoming in all of this data as Twitter have recently admitted that 80% of Twitter traffic comes through applications / mobile, none of which is measured by the internet analysis firms (like Hitwise.)

Since learning about this I guess you can take all of the figures reported here with a large pinch of salt!

Paul Jones said...

Not only middle aged, youngsters are also the big user of twitter.
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