Stats, so many stats

Journalists beware, this post includes numbers. Lots of them.

There’s no doubt Twitter is a growing platform, but it is helpful to bring some quantitative perspective to that. CEO Dick Costolo last month dished out some interesting data on the exponential growth Twitter has seen in recent years. (I saw the figures in a TechCrunch post, which I was directed to by BuzzFeed.)

According to Costolo, it took more than three years for Twitter to reach 1 billion tweets. Now, the platform handles about that many tweets every two and a half days.

That’s pretty astounding. Not boggled enough by those stats, though? The Huffington Post has a list of interesting social media figures from 2012, including information about Twitter. (All Twitter directed me to this list).

It includes:

  • About 1 million accounts join Twitter daily (11 per second), according to Infographics Labs
  • More than a quarter of Twitter accounts are from the United States (141.8 million or 27.4 percent), according to All Twitter.
  • The tweet from President Obama’s account after he was declared the winner of the 2012 election garnered more than 800 thousand retweets, the most ever, according to the The Guardian.

If these numbers weren’t enough, there’s more to be found in the above links.

The Huffington Post list is a compilation of numbers from across the Web, and some of the figures appear to be months old. To be honest, I’m always leery of statistics and think they can be easily manipulated. Even looking at these numbers with skepticism, however, there seems to be a trend: more and more people are using Twitter, especially in the United States.

In the context of journalism, that means more potential readers or viewers can be reached through the platform. As Twitter becomes more ubiquitous, it seems logical that its importance as a tool for reporting and spreading news will grow.

The expansion of the platform is something I’ve discussed multiple times in the past on this blog. Numbers aren’t necessary to see that, but it doesn’t hurt to have them.

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