As of May 2011, 13% of online US adults use the status update service Twitter, up 62.5% from 8% who did so in November 2010, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Slightly more than half (54%) of Twitter users access the service via cell phone.
Twitter Adoption Particularly High among Non-whites
Pew data shows that non-white internet users continue to have higher rates of Twitter use than their white counterparts, with the Twitter-adoption gap between African-Americans and whites increasing during the past six months. In November 2010, there was a 160% difference in Twitter use between African-American and white internet users (13% for blacks compared to 5% for whites). By May 2011, that gap was 178%, with 25% of online African-Americans now using Twitter, compared with 9% of online whites.
Meanwhile, 19% of online Hispanics use Twitter, 111% more than the usage rate of online whites. Also interesting is that one in 10 African-American internet users now visits Twitter on a typical day, which is double the rate for Latinos and nearly four times the rate for whites.
Younger Tweet More
Not surprisingly, younger internet users are more likely to use Twitter. Eighteen percent of online 18-to-29-year-olds and 14% of online 30-to-49-year-olds use Twitter. In contrast, 8% of online 50-to-64-year-olds and 6% of internet users 65 and older use Twitter. This means the Twitter usage rate of the youngest internet users is three times that of the oldest internet users.
Differences in Twitter usage are not especially substantial between men and women or among different income demographics. However, 16% of internet users with a college degree or more tweet, double the rate of internet users with a high school diploma, and online urban (15%) and suburban (14%) dwellers have a Twitter usage rate double that of online rural residents (7%).
Twitter Usage by Ages 25-44 Grows Significantly
Although young adults continue to have relatively high rates of Twitter usage, the number of 30-to-49-year olds who use the service has doubled since late 2010, from 7% of such users in November to 14% in May. Pew analysis reveals this growth trend is especially pronounced among 25-to-34-year-olds. Twitter use for this cohort roughly doubled between November and May, from 9% to 19%.
However, growth in Twitter use among internet users ages 35-44 was notable as well (from 8% in late 2010 to 14% in spring 2011). By contrast, Twitter adoption during the same time period was stable among the youngest adults (those ages 18-24), who were the most likely to use the service in the first survey.
Nielsen: African-Americans, Asians Tweet More than Average
African-Americans are 30% more likely to visit Twitter’s website than average Americans, while Asian/Pacific Islanders are 26% more likely than average Americans to visit the Twitter site, according to data collected by The Nielsen Company.
About the Data: The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 26 to May 22, 2011, among a sample of 2,277 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,522) and cell phone (755, including 346 without a landline phone).