Hitwise, an Internet traffic monitor, reported that Ms. Winfrey’s first tweet and show about Twitter, on April 17, increased Twitter’s share of United States Internet users by 24 percent over the previous day and 43 percent over the previous Friday.
However, a report from Nielsen Online suggests that most users are tempted by Twitter’s novelty, then lose interest. For most of the last year, Twitter’s audience retention rate — users who return the next month — was below 30 percent. At similar levels of Internet reach, both Facebook and MySpace had retention rates of more than 60 percent.
Nielsen projects that Twitter’s retention rate, now 40 percent, limits a site’s overall Internet reach to 10 percent (Twitter’s is now about 1.7 percent, compared with more than 17 percent for Facebook and about 5 percent for MySpace.)
David Martin, vice president for primary research for Nielsen Online, said that despite these pessimistic figures, Twitter’s retention has roughly doubled since December, and “when really interesting content such as Oprah and the major news publications are posting, that’s not to say that many people won’t be attracted back.”
I don’t want to know what all of my friends are doing all day every day. The blog/web site model, where you go get the content when you want it, makes more sense to me long term.