This week, we're looking at the audiences of social media platforms, including Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest. Each day, we'll feature a different platform. Yesterday, we took a look at Facebook. Next up: Twitter.
This year, 55.2 million people in the US—or 16.8% of the population—will use Twitter, a 0.9% increase from 2017, according to eMarketer estimates.
We expect user growth will remain under 1% throughout the rest of the forecast period and estimate that Twitter will only add an additional half million users—nearly all of whom will be adults ages 25 or older.
Teens remain less likely to use the platform. Indeed, just 4.9 million teens in the US will use Twitter this year, compared with the 16.4 million expected to use Snapchat and 12.8 million expected to use Instagram.
"Twitter’s usage challenges are coming even as it has worked to improve the health of the platform," wrote eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson in a recent report, Snapchat and Twitter 2018: Many Challenges, but a Few Things Advertisers Still Like. "This spring, it shut down 70 million accounts, the vast majority of which were idle, so they did not count toward Twitter’s published MAU figures. However, Twitter (like Facebook) has been in a negative spotlight this year as investigations into election meddling, the dissemination of fake news, censorship and more have stirred up tensions."
"Competition from other platforms has taken a toll, too," added eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen. "Twitter will add the fewest number of new users this year out of any social network."
So what's keeping user growth afloat?
Video is a major driver. "The core function of [Twitter] is to help people find out what’s happening with the things they’re most passionate about,” said Ryan Moore, director of global video solutions at Twitter, who was interviewed for eMarketer's Video Ads in Social Media 2018 report. “It makes sense to have content on the platform that can be watched collaboratively and helps people catch up on what’s happening.”
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