Twitter Quitters Ain’t Surprising – It Takes Time to Get It

In case you missed it on Techmeme, Nielsen published research showing that 60% of new Twitter users fail to return the following month after joining.

60% !!

I heard this, and I’m really not surprised. It actually fits my personal experience. Before I got to this point


…I really didn’t take to Twitter. I signed up on December 15, 2007. My first tweet was, “Trying to get warm-n-fuzzy about Twitter.” But really, I didn’t get warm and fuzzy. Take a look at the chart of my monthly tweets below:


I can tell you that the months preceding April 2008 were even lower. It really took me a while – September 2008 – to warm up. That’s 9 months. Why?

  • Hadn’t figured out who I really wanted to follow
  • I didn’t have a clear purpose for why I’d use the service
  • Wasn’t convinced I had anything really worthy to contribute

Bit-by-bit, I figured things out.

Who I wanted to follow – people in my industry and job function, plus people who would educate me about social media.

My purpose got clearer – establish a voice in my industry, and share information (something I learned from Louis Gray).

I learned not to sweat the worthiness of my tweets early on. You really can’t find your groove without practice. I do sweat the worth of my tweets much more now. But that’s after a lot of experimentation.

Thoughts for Twitter Adoption

If people truly leave Twitter after a month and don’t come back, then there’s a lot of learning they’ll miss. Things that took me time to learn and get comfortable with.

But if the celebrities that people follow – actors, news and media figures, musicians, sports stars, authors, etc. – stick with it, then the awareness will continue along. And that awareness is the key to giving new users time to figure out how they want to use Twitter.