A new report from eMarketer finds that most adult Americans with Internet access use Facebook at least once a month, and a full 42.3% of the entire American population was using the site as of this month.
By contrast, Twitter‘s penetration rate was much lower, sitting at around 7% of the total population and 9% of the Internet-using population, according to the report.
Late last year, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company saw around 250 million daily users of its 500 million-strong user base. The young exec made the point that Facebook’s products — including Photos, Places, Groups and Messages — are features that people use more frequently than they use other, more established services with similar features because Facebook's products are inherently social.
Twitter, on the other hand, is driven largely by so-called power users, and only 21% of registered users are actually active on the site. Another interesting and related Twitter usage stat: 22.5% of users are responsible for 90% of all tweets.
One important stat to note, however, is Twitter’s year-over-year growth. Last year around this time, Twitter’s penetration rate was around 7%, and by the end of this year it’s expected to be at 11% for American Internet users, or 16.5% of the population that also uses other social networks. In terms of the overall U.S. population, the numbers are still small, but the growth is steady.
An analyst for the firm said, “eMarketer’s new Twitter usage estimates are lower than our April 2010 forecast. Since then, Twitter has continued to gain traction but at more moderate levels than we had expected.”
The microblogging service celebrated 100 million new accounts created in 2010, and a lot of that growth was due to the company’s investment in official and device-integrated mobile apps.
What do you think it’ll take for Twitter’s growth to really skyrocket and reach more of the population? Or will this service remain a niche product for the web-using elite? Let us know your opinions below.