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Waiting Times Essay

3390 words - 14 pages

Aug 23, 2012 Marti Hearst & Gilad Mishne



Some 15% of online adults use Twitter as of February 2012, and 8% do so on a typical day. Although overall Twitter usage has nearly doubled since the  Pew  Research  Center’s  Internet  &  American  Life   Project first asked a stand-alone Twitter question in November 2010, the 15% of online adults who use Twitter as of early 2012 is similar to the 13% of such adults who did so in May 2011. At the same time, the proportion of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010—at that point just 2% of ...view middle of the document...

N=2,253 adults age 18 and older, including 901 cell phone interviews. Interviews conducted in English and Spanish. The margin of error is +/-2.7 percentage points for internet users. **Represents significant difference compared with all other rows in group.


Twitter use among 18-24 year olds increased dramatically between May 2011 and February 2012, both overall and on a “typical day” basis
Twitter use within the overall population remained steady over the last year, and usage rates within most major demographic groups changed little over the same time period. The youngest adults (those between the ages of 18 and 24) are the primary exception to this trend—nearly one third of internet users in this age group now use Twitter, up from 18% in May of 2011 and 16% in late 2010.3 Twitter use by those in their mid-20s to mid-40s largely leveled off in the last year after roughly doubling between late 2010 and mid 2011.

November 2010 May 2011 13% 18 19 14 9 8 6 February 2012 15% 31 17 16 9 9 4

Twitter adoption by age, 2010-2012
% of internet users in each group who use Twitter

All adults 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+

8% 16 9 8 7 4 4

Sources: Pew  Research  Center’s  Internet  &  American  Life Project tracking surveys. 2012 data based on January 20-February 19, 2012 Tracking Survey. N=2,253 adults age 18 and older, including 901 cell phone interviews, margin of error is +/-2.7 percentage points based on internet users (n=1729).

In addition to increasing on an overall basis, the proportion of young internet users who use Twitter on a typical day also doubled over the last year. Fully one in five internet users ages 18-24 (20%) now use Twitter on a typical day, up from 9% in May 2011.

Evan Williams on the genesis of Twitter, ICWSM, April 2007:
• A side project started on a whim; Jack
Dorsey’s idea; launched Oct, 2006.

• Wanted a ubiquitous status message. • A community of people answering the
question “what are you doing?”

• Exploded at SXSW; good for collective
backchanneling; SF earthquakes.

• “Ambient intimacy” • Huge API usage was unexpected, as was the
rise of the @ sign for replies






• What


is Twitter? (Kwan et al, “What is Twitter, a social network or a news media?”, WWW, 2009) uses Twitter? (Mislov et al., “Understanding the Demographics of Twitter Users,” IWCSM, 2011) do they Tweet About? (Java et al., “Why we twitter: understanding microblogging usage and communities,” WebKDD and 1st SNA-KDD Workshop, 2007; Ramage et al, “Characterizing microblogs with topic models,” ICWSM 2012)

• Who

• What

• Who


is influential? (Weng et al, “Twitterrank: finding topic-sensitive influential twitterers”...

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