Thanks to Brent Leary who pointed out – via Twitter of course – that Twitter has a lot of activity but very low loyalty rates versus other social media.
Check this chart out:
Twitter has an issue, according to these Nielsen numbers, of getting newcomers to keep tweeting after the first month.
I think the problem lies somewhere between Twitter’s somewhat shaky performance and two other related factors. For one, it is much easier to tap into existing, vibrant networks on MySpace or facebook. There’s a multi-media angle that Twitter cannot match, and thus the higher stickiness. You start out on Twitter alone – and while Twitter offers some high-level celebs etc. to follow on the outset, it is a laborious process to create an authentic, relevant network of your own.
Secondly, the fact that there is very little transparency between the Twitter service and all the cool applications that make it worthwhile. Facebook and MySpace do a great job of either providing the tools to make the experience fun themselves, or have made it very easy for those leveraging the platform to reach users. Many of the people I know that have registered for Twitter accounts have no idea what Tweetdeck is, or the other cool tools to make tweeting a simple and useful activity.
I do believe there is a lot of value in the channel, and it has vast potential still. But I think a more exchange-like place that is heavily promoted, coupled with more network building tools, would make more people stick around from the get go.