Twitter estimates that there are 26 million monthly Twitter users online in 2010. This is not that significant compared with the 500 million using Facebook.
But it’s not the numbers that matter, it’s the quality of the users that count. Twitter users are far more influential than other online users. In fact, a recent study by ExactTarget considers Twitter users to be the most influential online.
Quote “While the number of active Twitter users is less than Facebook or email, the concentration of highly engaged and influential content creators is unrivaled — it’s become the gathering place for content creators whose influence spills over into every other corner of the internet.”
The study, conducted in April 2010 found that the main reason consumers follow brands they like on Twitter is to gather news and information about the company and its products and to learn about future sales and likely discounts. Interestingly the study found that brands are still not participating in conversations with followers, reducing the opportunity for the brands to build relationships with consumers that cannot be duplicated, like the sales and discounts.
Reasons for this might be because brands are seeking social media advice from advertising agencies who prefer to recommend traditional broadcasting of messages from the brand rather than engagement with consumers that gives more responsibility for the brands development to the consumer.