In June 2009, I estimated that there were 75,000 Twitter users in Sweden, based on data from a survey by Sysomos. Since then, no one has had a good answer to the question “how many Swedes use Twitter”. Until now, that is. This morning, Intellecta Corporate presented a Twitter census in which they had crawled Twitter in order to collect all users that tweet in Swedish.
According to the report, there are 91,000 Twitter users (or rather, accounts) that tweet in Swedish, out of which only 36,000 were counted as active (at least one tweet the last 30 days and at least three tweets in total). These numbers don’t include protected accounts or users that tweet in English or any other language. That means that for example the top 9 Swedish corporate Twitter users are not included. They all tweet in English and have almost 300,o00 followers in total.
These users have tweeted a total of 25 million tweets, or on average 275 tweets per account.
The core of the Swedish Twitterverse consists of 11,200 users who tweet at least once a day on average and have one tweet during the last month. A small portion of the users also produce the bulk of all tweets, 6 % of the users have tweeted more than 1,000 times which is 68% of all tweets from the 91,000 accounts.
Another intersting fact from the report is that there seemed to be a peak in new joiners in January 2009, but the report has no explanation to the reason behind the sudden interest in Twitter (see graph below – number of new accounts per month).
If I can add a theory to why so many people joined Twitter this month, one reason may be the sudden shift away from the competing micro blogging platform Jaiku, which was popular among early adopters back then. In January 2009, a large portion of the Swedish Jaiku community suddenly moved away from Jaiku to, among other things, try out the new local micro blog Bloggy. I blogged back then that Jaiku over a weekend suddenly got deserted by many Swedes. It is not unlikely that this move got several influential opinon leaders to try out Twitter and/or more aggressively promote Twitter, and in turn giving it a lot of attention which encouraged others to join.
So is this a likely result? Well, it is the best we’ve seen so far and it ties in well with my previous estimate of 75,000 accounts in June 2009. According to the graph, slightly less than 40,000 new accounts have been registered since June 2009 which would make it about 115,000 today, which may not be all wrong considering that Intellecta does not count foreign language tweeters and protected accounts. These numbers are more likely to be accurate than previous estimates that said 515,000 Swedes are on Twitter.
Small but influential channel
Once concern I have from these stats is that some may conclude that Twitter is too insignificant to have any real value. To draw that conclusion can be a big mistake, since we have seen numerous cases where Twitter is extremely influential as a tool for quick distribution of information.
The results from the census can be found in the presentation below in Swedish.