Pew Research Center released a report today, stating that eight percent of American adults who use the Internet are also Twitter users. Twitter, which launched in 2006, serves as both a never-ending tournament in which users attempt to outwit each other in 140 characters or less and a thriving, active community ripe for sharing news and media.
Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project conducted surveys throughout 2008—2010, studying the use of the Twitter and other services to share or see updates about others on the Internet. As 74 percent of American adults are Internet users, six percent of the entire adult population in the U.S. is on Twitter.
Not surprisingly, young adults—Internet users aged 18-29—are “significantly” more likely to use Twitter than older adults, and urbanites are twice as likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts. Minority Internet users are also more than twice as likely to tweet.
The level of commitment to one’s Twitter account and the content varies widely; as roughly one quarter of Twitter users check the site multiple times a day, yet one in five users “never” check for new material. Seventy-two percent post updates that relate to their personal life, activities and interests and 62 percent post updates relating to their work life, activities and interests. While a portion of users may indulge in navel-gazing, 55 percent also share links to news stories, and 53% retweet material posted by others.
The results from this report were culled from telephone interviews conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International, among a sample of approximately 2,250 adults, aged 18 and older.
While the report tracked activity pertaining to sharing photos, videos, or user location, it did not track music sharing. Last month, Twitter formed a partnership with iTunes’ Ping service, allowing users to preview songs and link directly to purchase music. Earlier this week, Twitter announced several new content partnerships, including Rdio, a paid subscription music streaming service which allows full-length streaming songs. Launched in an effort to drive traffic to Twitter.com, these partnerships, which also include video and photo sites, followed a September redesign of the website.
While these partnerships are too new to discern the impact upon music discovery and purchasing through Twitter or Twitter.com, we expect to see more activity in this area. Stay tuned, and stay tweeting.