Twitter ended 2013 with 12 million active users in the UK, and will see that increase to 13.6 million by the end of 2014, according to research firm eMarketer.
The company’s latest report suggests that the number of people accessing their Twitter account at least once a month grew by 40.6% in 2013, and that by the end of the year, 18.8% of the British population were using the social network.
eMarketer expects that to rise to 21.1% of the population by the end of 2014, but sees overall user growth slowing in the coming years. The company predicts Twitter will have 17.1 million users in the UK by the end of 2018, accounting for 25.8% of Brits.
The report also breaks down Twitter’s British users by age group, claiming that this year, 25-34 year olds will account for 25.4% of users, while 18-24 year olds will take a 24.5% share. However, the fastest growing group – albeit from a small base – is people aged 65 and up.
“The continuing growth of the Twitter audience follows typical patterns for post-early-adoption social networking sites. After Facebook attracted a core of teen and young adult users, those users’ parents and grandparents started signing up, and the social networking giant saw its main growth coming from the oldest and youngest users,” explains the report.
“This pattern is repeating itself on Twitter in the UK: while young children still have substantial growth rates, the 12- to 44-year-old population has slowed to at or below the average growth rate for the service. Meanwhile, usage among those ages 65 and up is expected to increase by 37.8% this year.”
eMarketer’s stats actually conflict with Twitter’s own numbers. In September 2013, outgoing UK general manager Tony Wang claimed – yes, in a tweet – that Twitter had 15 million users in the UK, up from 10 million in May 2012.
eMarketer told The Guardian that its figure is based on multiple sources, including survey data and web traffic data, but does not include multiple accounts, fake accounts or business-related (i.e. not personal) accounts.
Twitter has released more details on its British users in the past, too. In February 2013, it published some results from a study conducted by Compete in the UK, which found that 80% of UK users accessed Twitter via a mobile device; that 66% of those people used Twitter at home in front of the TV; and that 67% of them followed brands on the service.
In April 2013, Twitter’s Dan Biddle told the MIPCube television industry conference that “40% of tweets in the UK during peak-time television hours are about television”.
Twitter has worked with a number of broadcasters in the UK since then, and this week was a key partner for the Brit awards, with users voting for one category by tweet, while watching official video clips during the event posted using Twitter’s Amplify feature.
The ITV show generated 4.17m tweets, including 2m tweets for the best British video category voting, and 2.17m about the show itself. The event set a new record for tweets-per-minute for a British TV show, peaking at 78,000.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © Coletivo Mambembe