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Twitter Bumps Ceiling

By - June 10, 2009

quantcast twitter june.pngIt had to happen, and it has. Twitter’s unbelievable growth numbers have flatlined, or even gone down, if you look at Quantcast (the site is not Quantified).  

This was predictable, given all the media hype and new folks, and the very real newbie problem I outlined in this post last month.

I predict Twitter will address this issue, and growth will resume, but at a more moderate and sustainable pace. But this is a very clear sign that Twitter, which made the cover of Time magazine last week, is on the other, less happy side of a traditional hype cycle.

As a reminder, here’s what I said in a post just a month ago, noting the incredible growth of Twitter:

I think this is both Twitter’s most important and dangerous phase of its young life. The retention problem must be addressed, and quickly. In my previous post about Twitter adding value to new users, I suggested Twitter incorporate some structure around its suggested users feature.

But with an inflection like this, I think it’s time to swallow hard and embrace some serious social media jujitsu. In short, Twitter should integrate Facebook Connect in its signup process, and offer it as a feature for current users.

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6 thoughts on “Twitter Bumps Ceiling

  1. Jeff K says:

    I think you need to take this data with a grain of salt even with Quantcast’s disclaimers of sparse and unqualified data.

    While it is possible that the number of people is slowing down, I don’t believe Quantcast does or has the ability to measure people using various Twitter tools (like Tweetdeck, HootSuite, etc) as well as similar mobile devices. Quancast is measuring audiences based on people that use Twitter at

  2. art from antioc says:

    twitter is an old persons gig which doesn’t sustain high or moderate growth. Twitter exists for one reason its not “what are you doing now” its “what can i sell you now” every young happening person i speak to thinks twitter is irrelevent to their social network world…..

  3. Mike N. says:

    I think Twitter has settled in its placed. Of course, I’ve no hard stats to back this. Just what my gut tells me.
    I believe the viral nature of mobile apps enabled them to grow to their maximum user audience quickly (before novelty wore off) and that further growth rate is 50-50 at best to exceed attrition rate.

  4. Art,

    I find your answer interesting for a few reasons. The majority of people age 40-60 are under the impression that 20-30 somethings dominate all social media especially Twitter.

    The most compelling aspect of your comment is the emotionally negative response Twitter elicited from you. Everyone has their favorite social network(s). Yet you seem to mirror the attitude so many people display. If a network doesn’t fit your ideal then slam it.

    Twitter has functionality above and beyond sales. What is important is the idea that what works for you may not work for others. If you want to trash a network then bring some facts to the table.

  5. Guitar Dad says:

    Considering this research and other new studies, the jury’s still out on Twitter. Seems like fun as one starts engaging with it, then you quickly realize it’s mostly a one-way communication channel, with users blatantly pitching their wares and very little “listening” taking place. It seems too simplistic to succeed long-term unless its developers make it significantly more dynamic and conversation-enabling. It will be interesting to watch its evolution.

  6. mike says:

    completely agree with Jeff. those stats could probably be off by a large amount, if they’re not including data for people using third-party apps. of course, now that this lovely growth chart is open to the public, i’ll bet a million bucks that everyone will start to pounce on twitter — and *that* backlash will affect traffic way more than those stats. as to art’s comment, if he’s really talking to “every young happening person,” i suppose none of them are ever updating their statuses on FB either, since that would be “irrelevent to their social network.”