Update: Steve Safran from Audience Research & Development reports this headline might be misleading. Steve says,
“.. we have found a significant piece of user data is being overlooked – one that will surely skew the overall numbers. On the Nielsen Online Blog, David Martin, Vice President for Primary Research writes that, while Twitter has grown exponentially in the past few months, it’s having a hard time getting people to return to its site within a month. However – this raised a big question. Did Martin including the people who use Twitter via a “Twitter Client,”TwitterFeed, TweetDeck and other mobile apps to post?”
What’s the big deal? According to TweetStats, 40% of the “Top 10 Twitter Apps” are from services other than Twitter. This is the equivalent of measuring YouTube users without measuring those who watch embedded YouTube videos on other sites or mobile phones.”
Media folk are tripping over each other these days to tell their audiences how cool they think Twitter is and how deeply they are into Twitter culture. Maybe so. But here’s a fascinating fact from a new Nielsen survey: Three out of every five users who sign up for Twitter drop out by the second month. That is only a 40 percent retention rate — much lower than that for Facebook and MySpace. It makes you wonder how satisfying users are really finding Twitter.
Or, maybe the question is: How short are the attention spans of some of these users?
Here’s a link to the Nielsen study along with a nice graphic of the steep decline in second-month use: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitter-quitters-post-roadblock-to-long-term-growth