Where did Forrester get its Twitter data?

Peter Kim of Forrester writes on his blog “Our data shows that 6% of US online adults use Twitter regularly.”

I say bulls**t.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that many people are using Twitter.

My data shows that the regular users are between 50,000 and 300,000. A high percentage of which are outside the United States. That doesn’t come anywhere close to the numbers required for 6%.

Keep in mind that Hotmail has about 200 million users every month. Yahoo Mail says they have about 250 million worldwide users.

But, I’d love to be proved wrong. Where did this data come from? How was it collected? Does Forrester stand behind it? What’s in the report that Peter linked to (I am not a Forrester client, so don’t have access)? Does it contain other numbers that just don’t jibe with common experience?

UPDATE: Someone just Twittered me this: “Peter Kims’s source on the unique users (he says 447,000 in Aug07) is Nielsen//NetRatings.” I doubt that’s data for “regular” users, or even online adult users in the US. I could see total registered users being that high, but that’d be world-wide. Watch twittervision.com someday and you’ll see that there are lots of users outside America.

UPDATE 2: Peter Kim responded here, and says they didn’t get the data from Nielsen. I still think the survey is very flawed if it’s bringing back such numbers.

80 thoughts on “Where did Forrester get its Twitter data?

  1. I landed here via a google search.. I’m doing research on twitter and I’ve spidered the entire twitter social graph, and the number of users with at least one follower is 280,000 so I’d say the number of active users is slightly less than that.

  2. I landed here via a google search.. I’m doing research on twitter and I’ve spidered the entire twitter social graph, and the number of users with at least one follower is 280,000 so I’d say the number of active users is slightly less than that.

  3. An excerpt from Forrester’s “Microblogging for Marketers” report…

    “Twitter users are, on average, 78% male and 31 years old, and they draw an annual income of $78,000. In comparison, members of the online US population are, on average, 49% male and 43 years old, and they draw an annual income of $68,000.”

  4. An excerpt from Forrester’s “Microblogging for Marketers” report…

    “Twitter users are, on average, 78% male and 31 years old, and they draw an annual income of $78,000. In comparison, members of the online US population are, on average, 49% male and 43 years old, and they draw an annual income of $68,000.”

  5. Thanks for very interesting article. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.
    It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s
    point of view… makes you think more. So please keep up the great work.
    Greetings.

  6. Thanks for very interesting article. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.
    It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s
    point of view… makes you think more. So please keep up the great work.
    Greetings.

  7. Interesting data. However, I think a number of people signed up for Twitter, me included, and use it initially and then stop after getting bored. After all we have mobiles/cells for texting rubbish to each other don’t we?

    Jim

  8. Interesting data. However, I think a number of people signed up for Twitter, me included, and use it initially and then stop after getting bored. After all we have mobiles/cells for texting rubbish to each other don’t we?

    Jim

  9. It’s amazing these research firms stay in business, their data is utterly worthless.

    Ahh see, worthless data, sadly, has it’s own value — used when needed to buffer something low, lower something high, justify some corporate policy, provide survey data in justification of some press release, drum up consulting and extra services monies (say it’s broke, then rush in to fix) or crystal-ball justify long-term corporate strategy changes.

    Heck, they STAY in business on ACCOUNT OF bad data. Actually good data they wouldn’t know what to do with, and is not an easy sell, everyone needs some “inside track”, not commodity reality data. Bad data is the backbone, trick is packaging bad into some sort of believable framework, however in this case the methodology was so far out as to be space-cadetish, with even the insiders saying it’s outlandish. And with Jeremiah morphing apologist, defending the indefinsible, yet one month on the job…heh. ;)

  10. It’s amazing these research firms stay in business, their data is utterly worthless.

    Ahh see, worthless data, sadly, has it’s own value — used when needed to buffer something low, lower something high, justify some corporate policy, provide survey data in justification of some press release, drum up consulting and extra services monies (say it’s broke, then rush in to fix) or crystal-ball justify long-term corporate strategy changes.

    Heck, they STAY in business on ACCOUNT OF bad data. Actually good data they wouldn’t know what to do with, and is not an easy sell, everyone needs some “inside track”, not commodity reality data. Bad data is the backbone, trick is packaging bad into some sort of believable framework, however in this case the methodology was so far out as to be space-cadetish, with even the insiders saying it’s outlandish. And with Jeremiah morphing apologist, defending the indefinsible, yet one month on the job…heh. ;)

  11. From Forresters site:

    “The sample was drawn from members of MarketTools’ online panel, and respondents were motivated by a sweepstakes drawing. The sample provided by MarketTools is not a random sample. While individuals have been randomly sampled from MarketTools’ panel for this particular survey, they have previously chosen to take part in the MarketTools online panel.”

    http://www.forrester.com/ER/Research/Survey/Excerpt/0,5449,589,00.html

    There’s a long way between 6% of people who opt in to take online surveys about internet habits for sweepstakes chances and 6% of online adults.

    It’s amazing these research firms stay in business, their data is utterly worthless.

  12. From Forresters site:

    “The sample was drawn from members of MarketTools’ online panel, and respondents were motivated by a sweepstakes drawing. The sample provided by MarketTools is not a random sample. While individuals have been randomly sampled from MarketTools’ panel for this particular survey, they have previously chosen to take part in the MarketTools online panel.”

    http://www.forrester.com/ER/Research/Survey/Excerpt/0,5449,589,00.html

    There’s a long way between 6% of people who opt in to take online surveys about internet habits for sweepstakes chances and 6% of online adults.

    It’s amazing these research firms stay in business, their data is utterly worthless.

  13. Twitdir says it’s tracking 521,933 Twitter users. I believe that is every user — not regular. If you look through Twitter accounts you can find a lot of orphaned users – haven’t posted in ages. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t lurking.

  14. Twitdir says it’s tracking 521,933 Twitter users. I believe that is every user — not regular. If you look through Twitter accounts you can find a lot of orphaned users – haven’t posted in ages. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t lurking.

  15. Well, whataya know, a Blue Moon, Scoble got this one right.

    When even the hype-king himself says your hype numbers are off, you are in deep trouble. And that’s my sheer pass-along “feeling”, at least some portion of it, in some way, more or less, indirectly, that is.

  16. Well, whataya know, a Blue Moon, Scoble got this one right.

    When even the hype-king himself says your hype numbers are off, you are in deep trouble. And that’s my sheer pass-along “feeling”, at least some portion of it, in some way, more or less, indirectly, that is.

  17. There’s ZERO way 3% of online adults use Twitter ‘regularly’ and there’s less than zero chance even 2% of online adults will be using Twitter regularly 6 months from now, there traffic is stagnant the past 3 months and will soon start decreasing because it’s going to be hard convincing anyone outside of Silicon Valley that it’s actually cool it just makes boring men having a midlife crisis nostalgic for the first time they heard about the internet or messed around with Q Basic…

  18. There’s ZERO way 3% of online adults use Twitter ‘regularly’ and there’s less than zero chance even 2% of online adults will be using Twitter regularly 6 months from now, there traffic is stagnant the past 3 months and will soon start decreasing because it’s going to be hard convincing anyone outside of Silicon Valley that it’s actually cool it just makes boring men having a midlife crisis nostalgic for the first time they heard about the internet or messed around with Q Basic…

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