Twitter might be growing to astronomical heights at record speed, but that growth isn’t as mind-blowing or valuable when you look at Twitter’s user retention rate. A new report by Nielsen shows that Twitter is getting a lot of new users, but 60% of people who sign up for a new Twitter account don’t come back to the site a month later.
According to the report, Twitter’s retention rate at 40% is higher than it has been in the past (previous months reported just 30% user retention rate). However, according to an article on MediaWeek, both, “MySpace and Facebook had double Twitter’s retention rate at a similar growth stage, and their retention increased over time.”
So can Twitter remain a growing force to be reckoned with for a sustained period of time or is this a fad that will disappear as fast as acid-washed jeans did in the 1980s?
One thing is for certain, the most loyal Twitter users are exactly that — very loyal. However, these statistics certainly make the case for Twitter experiencing problems in the future. All marketers know it’s a lot cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones. If Twitter can’t keep a growing list of customers, then there could be trouble ahead.
Of course, news this month from Twitter is that the team behind the brand is making monetization a top priority for the short term. Will that help user retention or hurt it more? I guess we’ll have to wait to see what they come up with.
Any way you slice it though, it appears Twitter needs to rethink its business model if the brand is going to have a longer life cycle than the dot-coms of the 1990s that exploded and then came crashing down even faster and harder.
What do you think?
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