Twitter expands globally while growth sputters

 @ibtimes
on January 19 2010 9:37 AM

Twitter growth reached dizzying heights in 2009, with celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey helping surge new sign-ups, but the micro-blogging site is experiencing a significant decline in the growth of new users.

According to a report by market researcher Hubspot, the Twitter new user growth rate dropped from 13 percent in March 2009 to just 3.5 percent as of October 2009.

On the flipside, the report states that Twitter users are more engaged than ever before.

The average user is following more people, followed by more people and has posted more updates, the reporter stated.

The report showed that the average account is now following roughly 175 people versus 45 people in July 2009 and those same accounts now have about 300 followers versus only about 15 percent of that in July.

People seem to be saying more as the average number of updates has risen to over 400, when it was just over 100 in July.

The report surmises that this is due to more experienced users now making up more of the Twitter population. Interestingly, 82 percent of users have less than 100 followers and 81 percent of users are following less than 100 people.

While absolute growth may be slowing, Twitter's audience is increasing becoming more diverse.

In July of last year 15 percent of the top 20 Twitter locations were outside of North America, but now 40 percent are outside, according to the report.

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