Are You a Twitter Early Adopter?

Are you a Twitter early adopter? You know, the kind of person who’s “in the know”? If you’re not using Twitter right now, apparently you ain’t!

As noted earlier, Twitter saw a remarkable surge in visitors in March 2008. The hockey stick growth says Twitter’s moving into the mainstream.

And apparently, we have dates for when you were “in the know” and when you were “following the crowd”.

From Jeremiah Owyang, it’s April 25, 2008.

April 25th, 2008 1:06 pm


I’ve noticed an influx of new users, there’s clearly a change now. I consider everyone above this line to be ‘early adopter’

From Robert Scoble, it’s April 9, 2008:

Anyone who joins Twitter after today is not an early adopter. So, not interesting for me to follow.

So there you have it. If you joined on say, April 16, 2008, you’re in a tough spot. “Sorta” early adopter?

And we’ll leave open the question of why the hell it matters.


See this item on FriendFeed:


About Hutch Carpenter
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12 Responses to Are You a Twitter Early Adopter?

  1. Louis Gray says:

    I joined in January, but don’t think I was an early adopter. I was a bigtime holdout for a year. We’ll see. Maybe this is the tipping point where Scoble gets tired of it (like Facebook) and moves on? Or not.

  2. I joined in the second half of 2007 (give or take), but I wasn’t an early adopter either.

  3. Rob Diana says:

    I joined recently (4/19) and I would still be considered an early adopter by most people. Twitter is still far from mainstream as are most social media applications. MySpace is mainstream and Facebook is probably mainstream. Digg is still not mainstream, so I think we still have some time. I don’t consider myself a Twitter early adopter, but most people on Twitter are the bleeding edge. It takes a long time to go mainstream.

  4. bhc3 says:

    @ Louis – good point on Scoble. He does seem to be migrating over to FriendFeed.

    @Ontario – hear you on the early adopter notion. I certainly didn’t feel that way.

    @Rob – you bring up a really good point. Twitter isn’t really mainstream. Yet those who have been on it for a while don’t consider themselves early adopters.

    If we use technology adoption life cycle segments, maybe Louis, Ontario and Rob are early adopters, just not Twitter “innovators”. Twitter is at the right hand side of early adopters, verging on early majority.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I think I joined in January, but I really didn’t start using it until March. I definitely don’t consider myself an early adopter of it; however, when I search, I’ve got to go out 5 miles just to find 2 other users and 15 miles only produces about 20 users. None of my friends in real life use it, but many of my e-friends do. Hard to say what it means, but…good post and made me think.

  6. Jeremy says:

    My bad above – the search for 10 miles did produce 5 users and the search for 20 miles produced about 15 users. Got my numbers mixed up.

  7. As Twitter crosses boundaries to other industries and demographics there will be huge blips in activities. “Our” community is relatively small as compared to others. Think SWSW was a huge turning point. There will be more ….
    Good weekend all!

  8. Good points, great comments.

    I agree, I’m not sure if there is a specific hard date, but when we see early adopters use a tool before the brands enter, that’s clearly a change in behavior, and usage.

    This is an ongoing cat and mouse game, early adopters run to new tools (away from brands) and brands slowly catch up.

  9. bhc3 says:

    @Jeremy – great point about Twitterlocal as a way of measuring Twitter usage in “real life”. I just did a San Francisco check and unsurprisingly got a lot.

    @Charlie – that’s a good take. What’s early adopter for one crowd is old hat for another.

  10. bhc3 says:

    @Jeremiah – I did poke some fun at the dates of declaration. You’re right – we can’t put a hard date on it. But I do think we are in a period of transition. Twitter’s March numbers spiked, and I’ll bet we’ll see an even bigger jump in April.

    Good point about brands following. How long before mainstream corporate users develop Twitter habits (think Jonathan Schwartz and blogging)? And how long before we see Twitter-like functionality on other apps? Micro format social messaging become more widely used by the mainstream.

    I assume an industry analyst who consults with companies might want to mark the date of this transition. 😉

    This post over at ‘The Praized Blog’ does a nice job of tying together early adopters and brands that follow:

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