Twitter User Statistics 2008 Through 2017

How Many People Use Twitter? A Historical Overview

The number of Twitter users grew 200% year-over-year from 2008 to 2009. Twitter.com

Twitter.com isn't going anywhere soon. Measured by the number of new subscribers, the website experienced user growth of 200 percent in October 2009 over 2008 statistical data. As of the second quarter of 2017, it boasted about 328 million monthly users. Not shabby, not shabby at all. Here's a breakdown of how that growth has occurred and in what numbers. 

Twitter User Statistics

The following reported statistics count users who create and use accounts through Twitter.

Actual users are most likely slightly higher because Tweet traffic is not counted for those who use services like TweetDeck or automatic Tweets that are sent directly from blogs. Nor do they include users who access Twitter via mobile apps and text messages.

What they do count are users age 18 and older who visit or use Twitter at least once a month. It's estimated that 60 percent of Twitter users abandon their accounts within their first month of use, however. Twitter's retention rate was only 40 percent in 2011 compared to MySpace and Facebook, both of which enjoyed a 70-percent user retention rate at that time. 

Here's the historical breakdown: 

  • 2008: 6.0 million users, representing 11.1 percent of adult Internet users
  • 2009: 18 million users, representing 3.8 percent of adult Internet users. 
  • 2010: 54 million users
  • 2011: 117 million users
  • 2012: 185 million users
  • 2013: 241 million users
  • 2014: 288 million users
  • 2015: 305 million users
  • 2016: 319 million users
  • 2017: 328 million users as of the second quarter 

Back in 2011 

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo reported in June 2011 that 100 million people used Twitter each day even though 40 percent of Twitter account owners had not logged into their accounts in the past 30 days.

ComScore.com reported that Twitter had close to 150 million unique visitors during July 2011.

Approximately 55 percent of Twitter users were mobile users in 2011.

Forty percent of Twitter users did not Tweet or hadn't Tweeted in the past 30 days is 2011. 

AdAge Daily reported that "Costolo also noted that Twitter is on pace to add another 26 million active users in the next four months, equaling the total added in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined."

Twitter in 2017 

One of Twitter's greatest lures is the ability it gives users to effectively interact with celebrities, and that draws in a significant number of celebrities as well, all looking to keep in touch with and stoke their fan bases. Katy Perry was the most sought-after celebrity midway through 2017 with more than 96 million followers, and it's no secret that President Donald Trump loves to Tweet to keep his constituents informed. President Barrack Obama also had a significant Twitter following. 

So what does all this mean to Twitter in dollars and cents? The company reported revenues of 2.5 billion dollars U.S. in 2016, up $.3 billion from the year before. That said, Twitter has never reported a positive net annual income. That $2.5 billion back in 2016 didn't reflect a $47 million annual net loss—the company spent more than it earned.

Apparently, it requires a good bit of capital to keep those celebrities and their fans coming back for more.