Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new study on the use of Twitter in 2012.
Here is the summary directly from their website:
As of February 2012, some 15% of online adults use Twitter, and 8% do so on a typical day. Overall Twitter adoption remains steady, as the 15% of online adults who use Twitter is similar to the 13% of such adults who did so in May 2011. At the same time, the proportion of online adults who use Twitter on a typical day has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010—at that point just 2% of online adults used Twitter on a typical day. The rise of smartphones might account for some of the uptick in usage because smartphone users are particularly likely to be using Twitter.
What is surprising to me is that Twitter is far from being a mainstream social networking service. 15% of online adults use Twitter and only 8% on a daily basis. In comparison, 65% of online adults use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn. It shows that Twitter is still a niche service and I can report that most of my students – current and future government leaders – have a very difficult time to get on Twitter, to be part of the conversation, or to find valuable information.
Another surprising fact from the Pew studies is that there does not seem to be an increase in the use of Twitter over the years: A 2010 study reported the same number – 8% of online adults were using Twitter two years ago. This is the same number as in 2012. Interesting!