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Twitter may be in decline: Study suggests just a fad after all

A new study argues that Twitter may be now be in decline, with data suggesting that the number of new sign-ups is decreasing, and the percentage of active users is shrinking too

To those already hooked, Twitter has become an essential part of daily life -- every bit as important as that first cup of coffee in the morning and just as routine as brushing your teeth before bed. An in-depth study by RJMetrics, however, argues that the micro-blogging phenomenon may well be in decline.

As Marketing Pilgrim notes, the analysis reveals that the number of new user sign-ups is down by 20 per cent since its peak in July of last year, and that the average Twitter user has only 27 followers, down from a peak of 42.

The study shows the number of Twitterers actually using their accounts has also dropped to an all-time low. Only 17 per cent of registered users tweeted at all during December, and a whopping 80 per cent of Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.

Although the rate of Twitter sign-ups is still astronomical, it's slightly less galactically huge than it has been in the past. December saw 6.2 million new users joining the service, but that's down from 7.8 million new users in July. In that mind-bending-physics-GSCE kind of way, Twitter's acceleration is slowing.

You can read the whole study (complete with fancy graphs and everything) over at the RJMetrics blog. Twitter fans shouldn't give up hope, however -- the data collected suggests the dedicated few who sign up and stay active on Twitter are making enough noise to make up for all those who get bored after just a few weeks. The question is: will Twitter ever achieve global domination? Or is it destined to become a niche service, beloved only by narcissistic tech journalists and that chap who wrote Father Ted? Your comments, as always, are more than welcome.