Twitter quitters: We don't get it
36% of Twitter users don't use their account and 7% have shut down their account according to a recent poll. Doesn't bode well for upcoming IPO.
Twitter is on course to IPO on November 15. And, it seems like it is facing the same set of concerns that preceded the Facebook one. Unlike Facebook, where everything leading up to the IPO seemed to have been mismanaged and the actual event itself was a bit of a mess, Twitter has been the model of propriety.
What really concerns people, and has since the early days of Twitter, is whether the service can really make money, grow beyond a core group of users, and deliver on expectations. Frankly, most people don't get Twitter. And those that do speak another language.
But according to Reuters, the overall churn rate at Twitter doesn't even compare to Facebook:
36 percent of 1,067 people who have joined Twitter say they do not use it, and 7 percent say they have shut their account.
In comparison, only 7 percent of 2,449 Facebook members report not using the online social network, and 5 percent say they have shut down their account. The results have a credibility interval of 2.3 percent.
People who have given up on Twitter cite a variety of reasons, from lack of friends on the service to difficulty understanding how to use it. Twitter declined to comment for this story, saying it is in a quiet period ahead of its IPO.
Twitter's attrition rate highlights a challenge that has dogged the online messaging site over the years: while it has managed to enlist many high-profile and avid users, from the Pope to President Barack Obama, Twitter has yet to go truly mainstream in the way Facebook has.
Convincing ordinary people to think of Twitter as an indispensable part of their lives is key to the company's ability to attract advertisers and generate a profit.
Twitter reported it had 232 million "active" users - people who access the service at least once a month - at the end of September, up 6.1 percent from the end of June. Twitter's quarter-over-quarter growth in active users has not exceeded 11 percent since June 2012.
When Facebook was a similar size, its active users were increasing by more than 20 percent every quarter, and it was not until the social network neared the half-a-billion member mark that its user growth decelerated to 12 percent.