These days, more and more people are tweeting.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of early 2012, the number of adults who use Twitter on a daily basis has doubled since May 2011. The number of adults who signed up for a new Twitter account increased from 13 percent in 2011 to 15 percent in 2012.
On the whole, users appear to be more actively participating in the online conversation, according to Pew's data. While 4 percent of adults spent time on Twitter daily last year, now 8 percent log in on a regular basis. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, the tweets are flying out faster than ever; twenty percent of internet users in this age bracket tweet nearly everyday.
Results from this study were found by conducting a series of phone interviews with 2,253 adults throughout January and February of 2012. Both landlines and cellular data were used to depict the number of adults who have access to the internet. Other findings are listed below:
- 31 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds have a Twitter account.
- Suburban and urban residents are more likely to use Twitter than those in rural areas.
- 28 percent of all African Americans online have a Twitter account, with 13 percent using it daily.
- Women have a slightly higher Twitter presence than men in this study, with 53 percent of users being female.
Mobile apps have certainly helped spur Twitter use, allowing users to tweet whatever comes to mind as they walk down streets, sit in their desk at work or drop the kids off at school. In fact, as of last year, tweeting on the job was 700% higher than in 2010, based on research conducted by Palo Alto Networks.
In April, marketing service Experian Hitwise pegged Twitter as the second most popular social network in the U.S., gauging by number of users. Twitter's 182 million-strong population -- while dwarfed by the 900 million users on Facebook -- commands a healthy lead over the third most popular network, Pinterest, which boasts 104 million users.
Still, like other online giants, the challenges Twitter faces are growing, too. Monetizing the microblogging network has always been on the minds of its founders, and the popularity of mobile apps only adds to the difficulty of getting users to engage with advertising.
"Twitter is an amazing success," creator Jack Dorsey said in a 2011 interview, "but we've just gotten started."