Infographic: Twitter The Fastest Growing Social Platform

Today marks the release of a new stream of monthly infographics that showcase our latest data and highlight key trends in the global internet landscape.

Our strategy with infographics is to focus on stunning design, producing interesting images that also educate and inform, so we hope you enjoy them.

Our first graphic is a detailed exploration of Twitter usage in 2012, covering 3 key areas:

  1. Twitter user growth:
    • This shows growth in account ownership from 408m accounts in Q2 2012 to 485m accounts in Q4 2012
    • More importantly it shows active usage (defined in our research as used or contributed in the past month) as growing from 206m users to 288m, making Twitter the fastest growing social platform in that period
    • The curved bars around the active user bubble indicate multi-platform usage, with mobile standing at 57%
  2. Active user behaviours:
    • The bars in the arc around the usage bubble represent behaviours /actions performed in the past month by active users in PC, mobile and tablet
    • This provides a unique understanding of how Twitter behaviour segments by device with certain activities being PC dominated (e.g “Uploading / sharing photos”) and others equally distributed by device type (e.g “Buying a product or service (discovery – not direct purchase)”)
    • Certain activities particularly appeal to active tablet users (e.g “Asked a friend about a product you were interested in buying” or “Posted a comment about a company or brand”)
  3. Active user demographics
    • We have highlighted the splits by market using Wave 8 (Q4 2012) data. This demonstrates very clearly the global user base that is driving Twitter’s half a billion users, with Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Philippines and Mexico making up the top five markets. This is the reality of the increasingly global landscape for all the leading social platforms
    • We have also highlighted key demographics at a global level, demonstrating that people in advertising and marketing or IT are most likely to use Twitter – probably not a surprise. It also shows that the self-employed are most likely to use, which makes sense as our research shows the importance of using social media to build your business. Lastly 25-34 is the leading demographic, the age group increasingly leading adoption and application of social media

[Click on the image to download the PDF]Thumbnail

[Click on the image to download the PDF]

Remember, as a client, that these splits are just the tip of the iceberg with over 1,000 demographic variables available to segment the data
We make these infographics free to the community. However, if you are a GlobalWebIndex client we can produce these for you on a custom basis. If you are interested, please speak to your account manager.

14 comments on this post

  1. aallende on

    Nice image however please be aware that Argentina is not part of the EMEA. It should be located under AMER

    1. Rikard on

      Hi Aallende,

      Well spotted! You are absolutely correct and the infographic has been amended.


  2. Chris Prakoso on

    Quick question, those user percentage is ‘per area’? If yes, why don’t you have one for ‘the world’, as in which country has the largest user-base in the world?


  3. Luis Gawed on

    Quick question, how do you define the country’s data? Does twitter provide with you with the information or are you just using the data provided by user in “Location” because if so what % of error could one say you have considering that a lot of people either lie, leave it blank or write nonsense when asked about location?

  4. Kevin on

    Strange, I thought Twitter hit the 500M mark back in Feb 2012

  5. Nicole on

    This is a very informative infograph with pretty colours, but trying to read all of it made my head hurt.

  6. Stephane on

    Could you tell us a little bit more about your sources to produce this analysis ?
    Did you sample tweets on a specific month, how much data have you used ?

    thanks, great job

  7. Marcello on

    Hello Everyone,

    First of all I would like to thanks you for commenting, appreciating and asking questions about our data.

    Most of your questions will find an answer by having a look at our methodology which is fully explained here:

    Our research is survey based, which means we count only real users. No fakes and no duplicate accounts, which sometimes inflate other predictions of account ownership across Social Platforms.

    If you still have questions, please feel free to get in touch via email, or leave a comment here.

    Thanks again,

  8. Chris Prakoso on


    My question is still the same (please check my previous comment). You G+ page doesn’t seem to answer it.


  9. Marcello on

    Hi Chris,
    the percentages represent the proportion of active Twitter users globally doing each activitiy on Twitter.

    We could, of course, narrow down to country level but this infographic is a snapshot of the global Twitter universe.

    Hope this helps,

  10. Chris Prakoso on


    So, for example, the percentage 51% for Saudi Arabia means:

    51% of total users from Saudi Arabia are active?


    51% of the whole Twitter users are from Saudi Arabia?


  11. Marcello on

    Hi Chris,

    as per your example, the percentage related to Saudi Arabia means that 51% of Saudi Internet users are active on Twitter.

    Hope this clarifies,

  12. ambra on

    Hi Marcello

    my questions regards the %Italy of active usage.
    To me it is not still clear this figure.

    Do you mean “only” 21% of those who have a twitter account in Italy is active on their “page” and does an action on it?

    Could please confirm or clarify it?
    Thank you

    1. Marcello on

      Hi Ambra,

      our figure for Twitter active usage in Italy is actually 18% as highlighted in the Infographic. This are users that perceive them self as active on the platform in the last month. More information about our Twitter number in Italy are available on my article (in Italian) for TechEconomy


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