After news about the landing of US Airways 1549 in the Hudson first broke on Twitter in January 2009, the microblogging service quickly captured the imagination of a new group of potential users. Throughout the first months of 2009, Twitter grew at a rapid pace, peaking at a growth rate of 13% in March 2009.
Now, however, according to the latest data from HubSpot, Twitter’s growth is slowing dramatically. In October 2009, Twitter’s growth rate had fallen to 3.5%. On a positive note, though, the average active user on Twitter today is more engaged than six months ago.
Most Twitter users, however – even if they are now more engaged on average – still have fewer than 100 followers. Only 18% of all Twitter users have more than 100 followers. A total of 81% of all users are currently also following less than 100 people. Just six months ago, the average user was just following around 40 accounts.
HubSpot’s analysis also shows that more Twitter users now include bios (54%), links (65%) and location data (41%) in their profiles.
International Footprint Increases
As we pointed out earlier this month, social media analytics firm Sysomos also noted that most of Twitter’s growth is currently happening internationally. According to HubSpot’s analysis of over 5 million Twitter accounts, 40% of the top 20 Twitter locations are now outside of North America. In July 2009, only 15% were from outside North America.
For Twitter, this means that its current user base is making better use of the service, but the company also has to worry that its growth is slowing down. Maybe some of the earlier high growth rates were inflated by spam accounts, but a 3.5% growth rate is very low and the overall trend is only pointing down at this time.