January 23, 2021

New Data From Pew Research on Adult Users of Twitter in the United States; A Large Majority of Tweets (80%) Come From a Small Minority Of Tweeters

From Pew Research:

Twitter is a modern public square where many voices discuss, debate and share their views. Media personalities, politicians and the public turn to social networks for real-time information and reactions to the day’s events. But compared with the U.S. public overall, which voices are represented on Twitter?

To examine this question, Pew Research Center conducted a nationally representative survey of 2,791 U.S. adult Twitter users who were willing to share their Twitter handles. The design of this survey provides a unique opportunity to measure the characteristics and attitudes of Twitter users in the United States and link those observations to actual Twitter behaviors, such as how often users tweet or how many accounts they follow.

Twitter users are younger, more highly educated and wealthier than general public

The analysis indicates that the 22% of American adults who use Twitter are representative of the broader population in certain ways, but not others. Twitter users are younger, more likely to identify as Democrats, more highly educated and have higher incomes than U.S. adults overall. Twitter users also differ from the broader population on some key social issues. For instance, Twitter users are somewhat more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the country and to see evidence of racial and gender-based inequalities in society. But on other subjects, the views of Twitter users are not dramatically different from those expressed by all U.S. adults.

A large majority of tweets come from a small minority of tweeters

As a result, much of the content posted by Americans on Twitter reflects a small number of authors. The 10% of users who are most active in terms of tweeting are responsible for 80% of all tweets created by U.S. users.

Direct to Full Text Report (HTML)

Direct to Full Text Report
23 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share