Twitter Quitters: Nielsen Online Stands By Twitter 40% Retention Rate

Posted on May 11, 2009

Nielsen Online recently blogged that Twitter only retains about 40% of the people it attracts. Nielsen says that post received a lot of criticism from the Twitter community.

They were criticized for not including third-party applications so Nielsen went back and tested 30 websites and applications that feed into the Twitter community. David Martin, Vice President, Primary Research, Nielsen Online says the results from testing third-party Twitter app were similar with about 60% abandoning Twitter after a month.

So, as an update, we went beyond just Twitter.com, adding in more than 30 websites and applications that feed into the Twitter community including: TweetDeck, TwitPic, Twitstat, Hootsuite, EasyTweets, Tumblr, and many others. The results verified our initial findings: about 60 percent of people on Twitter end up abandoning the service after a month. The year-long retention curve looks very much the same as the one for just Twitter.com.

Twitter has received a great deal of press lately. Even Oprah did a show on the service. A lot of new users have been coming to the service in 2009. Some of them may have tried Twitter out quickly but then returned to communication tools they are more familiar with and where their friends are. Some people may be busy and not have time to invest the time in figuring out Twitter. It's not a surprise there are Twitter quitters but it is suprising the percentage is so high. It may be a good sign for rival social networking tools if Twitter can't retain more than 40% of its users - unless these are people who turn out to be uninterested in social networking altogether.

Here's a video with David Martin explaining his findings and saying they are standing behind the 60% Twitter quitter percentage.



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