Squirt: Why Nielson’s Twitter Numbers Suck

The recent kurfuffle over Twitter’s retention rate according to Nielson is a tad ridiculous. Comparing the 30-40% retention rate to those of MySpace and Facebook at the same stage in life is like comparing Sonics to Marios. The major blogs nailed why this comparison doesn’t make sense – Twitter aggressively shutting down spam accounts – but there is a bit more to the story.

Two things I want to add to the discussion:

  • 1,000 Following/Day Limit – Since Twitter limited ALL accounts to allow only 1,000 new friends a day, the number of spam accounts has skyrocketed.
  • Low Time Investment – Automated systems (which I won’t link to here) can create tons of throwaway spam accounts.

Anyone else want to add to the discussion? Leave a comment (or two).

1 thought on “Squirt: Why Nielson’s Twitter Numbers Suck”

  1. For starters Nielson had to update their blog two days later to include applications. Shouldn’t a research firm be able to identify such things? I’m still not convinced that they have a handle on the metrics for measuring across these new mediums. Tweets were designed to fit as a single sms message, can Nielson track that?

    I myself have taken more of a passive role in twitter as of late. Weeks have gone by that I didn’t actually sign in. However, I still used twitter on an almost daily basis. RSS feeds, search.twitter.com and sites that had aggregated specific tweets.

    To group Twitter with MySpace and FaceBook shows yet another flawed misunderstanding of the analysts at Nielson.

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