Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Putting Twitter in perspective

Some recent posts from Kara Swisher and TechCrunch provide some interesting perspective on Twitter and the other "shiny new objects" many of us (myself included) have been using.

Kara Swisher polled some fellow attendees at a recent wedding (folks who were up to date enough to own iPhones, in general):

And so I asked a large group of people - about 30 - and here is the grand total who knew what Twitter was: 0.  FriendFeed: 0.  Widget: 1 (but she thought it was one of the units used in a business class study). Facebook: Everyone I asked knew about it and about half had an account, although different people used it differently.

In other words, confirming for me what I wrote last week about the intense obsession with the hottest new services like Twitter and FriendFeed, in the echo chamber of Silicon Valley, and how no one else cares yet.

Even more interesting is what Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch says he's learned about actual usage of Twitter (do note the disclaimer that these are from a source and not from Twitter themselves):
The key measure of Twitter usage is total users, total active users and total messages sent. And according to a source close to the company, these are the current Twitter usage stats:

March 2008
Total Users: 1+ million
Total Active Users: 200,000 per week
Total Twitter Messages: 3 million/day

To provide a little perspective:  IBM's internal Lotus Sametime deployment averages 200,000 concurrent users and IBMers are now sending 5 million IMs a day.  (See here for more details).

Of course, if you want to take my twitter account, you'll have to pry it from my... well, you know the rest.