How Many Irish Twitter Users? Updated March 2011
Around this time last year, I estimated that there were 150,000 twitter users in Ireland based on a combination of traffic stats, trends & my own calculations which I use for competitor analysis on Irish web traffic. I’ve been asked a few times to update that number, and with some time spare – I’ve delved once again back into the numbers.
Global Twitter Accounts
This is the one piece of information that Twitter have actually disclosed, with a company email at the turn of year mentioning there are “about 200 million accounts on Twitter now.” Although the coming back to Twitter theme of the email alludes to a lack of activity from those users.
Google’s Ad Planner is the first port of call to view the trend of traffic activity, while the trend may not appear significant – a growth of daily visitors around 20% from Jan 2010 to Jan 2011 is certainly impressive and follows the surging trend of increased user activity.
This is a strong indication that Twitter has significantly grown since last year, another source of insight is Google Trends which uses the same data set as Ad Planner but allows comparison of other websites. In the case below, I’ve added LinkedIn.com to contrast the traffic growth of both.
It’s worth noting here that while Twitter.com has strong traffic numbers, it is a medium which doesn’t rely totally on access to their main website, although 78% of usage comes directly to Twitter.com. What is relevant here is the potential of duplicate users accessing the service from more than one medium. Unfortunately this is an issue for almost all website traffic analysis – where trends are evaluating based on unique visitors, i.e unique browsers. Nonetheless, seasoned web analysts will know that the importance is always on trend to determine improvements rather than hard numbers.
Ok, How Many?
I estimate 180,000, which is swaying closer to active or relatively active accounts. Here’s why –
- Trend increase from 20% from 2010
- Daily traffic profile of 60,000 daily visitors
- Comparison to LinkedIn traffic
- Country reach of 6.8% indicates 200,000 monthly visitors
- Comparison to IPSOS MRBI survey
- Discounting multiple session users & non account users
It’s also worth noting that Ad Planner indicates a reach of 6.8% of the total Irish web users (est: 2.9M), this is further backed up by a recent Ipsos mrbi poll of 1,000 Irish, indicated that 7% of the population have accounts, which estimates a total of about 245,000 accounts. While I don’t dispute this number, I would prefer to estimate closer to active users rather than overall accounts.
Users, Accounts, Traffic?
The figures above are based moreso on active traffic, i.e traffic that occurs during the recent 30 day window, this will obviously indicate a number closer to those that use Twitter more often. It is entirely possible that of the 200M Twitter global accounts, that Ireland may account for double my estimates to around 400,000. This is consistent with other Social Networks, where accounts are often created and then left idle. (Note the come back to Twitter theme in their recent newsletter)
If Twitter opens up paid advertising further this year, allowing advertisers to target their ads – don’t be surprised to see the number of ‘users’ approach 500,000 for Ireland.
Changing Media Lanscape
One of the key reasons why I estimate Twitter usage so high is that the media landscape of 2011 is very different to early 2010. Interaction between traditional media is no longer competing with online, but rather complimenting – evidenced by TV & Radio shows enaging with followers via social media, and this is where the micro-blogging format excels with the ability to create short snippets of information quickly and to engage directly with people within broadcast surroundings.
Not only are offline players embracing digital media more reddily, but those with online capabilities are integrating social media heavily into their plans. The recent general election saw websites such as TheJournal and RTE particularly impressive in their utilisation of Twitter.
This is also indicated with the growth in pageviews, rising from 15m to 21m over the course of 12 months, much of that helped by Google’s adaption of real-time search.
One of the key drivers for Twitters growth has been the usage of celebrity accounts, such as sporting & reality stars. In Ireland, we have seen an increase of homegrown celebrities take up tweeting.
Comparison to Facebook & LinkedIn
Fortunately stats for Facebook & LinkedIn are readily available, largely thanks to the monetisation of these networks, where advertising targeting allows segmenting based on location. Current figures as of March 7th 2011 are as follows:
- Facebook – 1,858,180
- LinkedIn – 424,926
It’s worth noting that LinkedIn has grown +20% since November 2010, which is amazing growth over a short period of time. Based on the traffic profile to LinkedIn.com this indicates a large number of dormant accounts, I’d estimate around 1/3 of those are active on a monthly basis. Meanwhile Facebook has also grown from 1.2M in Jan 2010 to over 1.8M in Mar 2011.
Future of Twitter in Ireland
I expect the growth of Twitter to continue this year as both offline & online media interact with their audience via Twitter, further cementing it’s place a mass communication channel. Ultimately, Twitter is a platform for communication and if there’s one thing Paddy likes, it’s talking.
You can find me @barryhandTweet
from → Social Media