Six things you should know about Twitter

Social media site Twitter is in the news after it posted financial results that outperformed many analysts’ expectations. Here are some facts about the site you should know.

Big numbers
Every month some 271m people actively use the service. This is an increase of 16m from the first quarter of 2014. Year-on-year, the figure is up 24%. However, some analysts suggest this rate of growth has slowed to 3.9%. Timeline views have swelled to 173bn.

Questionable profits
81% of Twitter’s advertising revenue comes from mobile, although whether the company turns a profit is debatable: if you believe in Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), the answer is no, but the non-GAAP picture is rosier.Twitter has also acquired image search startup Madbits for an undisclosed sum.

he average tweet contains 9.4 words and 74 characters.

Question of timing A study of Twitter users in London, Paris and New York City found that usage of the service has two daily spikes: around midday and from 7–11 p.m. Across all three cities, tweeting was also at its peek mid-week — Wednesday and Thursday.

Mind your language
Twitter is less centred around English-language news than you might expect. Just 7.8 % of all links posted on the site pointed towards a news story in English.

According to this study:

The top 15% of users account for 85% of all tweets, while the top five percent of all users account for 48% of all tweets and the top 1% of all users (just 720,365) account for 20% of all tweets. A very small number of core users thus drive the majority of Twitter’s traffic.

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