Even though Twitter has a lot of users, only 56 percent of them have actually used the site to post content, according to a new report from Twopcharts, a third-party site that monitors Twitter activity. However, it is also possible that many people are using the site without actually posting their own content.
Hundreds of millions of users have no followers of their own but the number of people registered on the site who aren't following anyone is not as large. This suggests that there is a segment of the Twitter user base that has chosen to use the service passively rather than actively.
At the same time, the issue of Twitter's inactive user pool was highlighted in December 2013 when the company announced that it had just 241 million active monthly users. Facebook, on the other hand, had 1.23 billion monthly active users as of February 2014, according to Zephoria Internet Marketing Solutions.
The Same Situation
Social networks in general have a tendency to attract a large number of people who sign up for services but do not use them. While Facebook may not have as big a problem, Twitter and Google Plus are in practically the same situation. Only 35 percent of Google Plus users are active on a monthly basis.
Google Plus grew exponentially between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, going from 435 million registered users to 1.15 billion. However, active users only increased from 223 million to 359 million, meaning that the site is facing the same sort of inactivity issues being faced by Twitter.
Is It an Issue?
Twitter's executives are not oblivious to the fact that there are some parts of the social network that make it confusing and difficult to use for some users. Just last month, the company's head of news, Vivian Schiller, noted that Twitter is trying to get rid of the @-reply and #hashtag infrastructure. If this were to happen, using the site could potentially be easier, but there is definitely an underlying issue with Twitter that has nothing to do with the site's "scaffolding."
The lack of tweeters is not necessarily an issue that either Twitter or its investors need to be focused on, but the group of registered users that have completely abandoned the site is important. Whether it's in one-on-one interviews or conference calls, Twitter executives have never chosen to provide actual stats regarding user retention, but some simple math does offer up some information.
As of April 2014, there are an estimated 983 million registered Twitter users and around 250 million active monthly users. This means that either 700 million people are infrequently logging onto the site or there are 700 million people who signed up and quickly left the network. These stats, combined with a flattening growth rate, resulted in a 20 percent decrease in share price in February and a lasting anxiety among investors.