2.8 million Twitter users in Australia, but how many are seeing the ads?

2.8 million Twitter users in Australia, but how many are seeing the ads?

There are at least 2.8 million Twitter accounts in Australia, according to research by the Queensland University of Technology – but hold off on tweeting your marketing dollars just yet. 

While the research is the clearest picture Australians have had of the national Twittersphere since the social network launched in 2006, questions are being raised over the strength of the company’s advertising model.

Twitter reported a 24% increase in worldwide active users last week, with investors pushing Twitter’s share price up off the back of strong results.

But according to the The Wall Street Journal,  the fine print of Twitter’s quarterly report shows the share of users who never see advertisements on Twitter is accelerating, while growth of those who do see ads is shrinking.

Twitter’s quarterly report shows that of its 271 million users, 14% of those users don’t actually log into Twitter directly and instead access the platform through thousands of third-party applications that link to Twitter.

As Twitter only serves its ads through its website and app, it is estimated around 37.9 million users are missing ads.

The Queensland University of Technology research shows there were 2.8 million Australian users in September 2013, and if Australians are following the international trend and logging on through third-party apps, it can be estimated that close to 400,000 Australian users are also missing out on seeing ads.

The research shows the rate of user registration peaked in Australia in March and April 2009, when 100,000 new account registrations were made in those months. By September 2013, new registrations were growing at a rate of 12%.

Axel Bruns, professor of creative industries at Queensland University of Technology, told SmartCompany that while that figure must be viewed with caution as it does not account for users with multiple accounts, the research shows a fairly positive outlook for Twitter in Australia.  

“We are seeing from the data, on average around 45,000 new accounts created a month and that appears to be gradually trending upwards,” says Bruns.

He says now that there is concrete data on the amount of users in Australia the University’s next step will be to look at user behaviour, including how many users are active/passive and how many accounts have been deleted compared to those that have been created.

“That will give us an idea of the attrition rate and we can see if Twitter is growing, is stable or is declining,” says Bruns.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi told SmartCompany the challenge for Twitter has always been monetising its reach, as well as the fact its user base is not representative of the wider population.

“Twitter has a certain type of user compared to Facebook,” says Fadaghi. “For that reason, it always has a bias towards extreme views.”

“While it continues to grow its user base, there’s room for the company to get its ad offering right.”

Fadaghi says it is likely Twitter may follow Facebook’s lead by adding a feature like a ‘buy’ button to its advertising.

“We might see similar offerings, moving away from impressions to transactional advertising. Those solutions will develop over time, just like Facebook,” he says.

Fadaghi says it is also important for businesses to remember Twitter’s power as a feedback and customer service channel.

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Bollocks To This
Bollocks To This
6 years ago

Considering how few tweets are required to get something trending on Twitter in Australia, I don’t think many of those 2.8 million people are very active.

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