Top 20 countries on Twitter

Twitter doesn’t disclose how many members it has, so it has been hard to determine how many people that use Twitter in Sweden. I tried to calculate a number in June 2009 using a survey by Sysomos that showed that 0.54% of the accounts were from Sweden. My estimate landed at 75,000 Swedes on Twitter.

Now, Sysomos have now published a new report, in which they have studied 13 million unique Twitter accounts that demonstrated tweeting activity within the period from Oct. 16, 2009 to Dec. 16, 2009. The US is still by far the largest country, but it’s dominance has decreased as the service has expanded more rapidly outside the US, with a very fast growth in for example Brazil (the US dropped from 62.1% share in June to 50.9% now.

Sweden is still in the top 20 chart but has slipped one spot from 18 to 19 and the share has decreased from 0.54% to 0.50%.


Sysomos also looked at the number of tweets by country, and in that chart, Sweden is not among the top 20 countries.

So how many Swedish Twitter accounts are there then? Hard to tell, but according to Twitter COO Dick Costolo, the micro blogging service had more than 58 million global users in November 2009. Here is a quote from a chat with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.

MA: What about user accounts?

DC: Yeah I won’t say that, but 58 million undercounts it.

So, taking these to figures into account, there should be somewhere in the range of 290,000 Swedish accounts, which sound like a lot. If the statistics from Sysomos are correct, they have at least found 65,000 Swedish accounts (0.50% of 13 million active). What springs to my mind is that considering the extreme growth for Twitter, it might not be long before more Swedes are tweeting than blogging. By the end of 2010, that might actually be a reality.

Footnote: I’m @kullin on Twitter.

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Top 50 brands on Facebook

The Big Money ranks the 50 brands that are currently making the best use of Facebook. The ranking is based on factors like number of fans, page growth, frequency of updates, creativity and fan engagement. Coca-Cola is ranked as the brand that makes best use of the social network thanks to its “organic fan-centric page without a corporate feel”. Here are the top 10:

1. Coca-Cola: 3,996,163 fans
2. Starbucks: 5,034,578 fans
3. Disney: 2,119,773 fans
4. Victoria’s Secret: 2,151,895 fans
5. iTunes: 2,236,306 fans
6. Vitaminwater: 1,087,153 fans
7. YouTube: 3,733,242 fans
8. Chick-fil-A: 1,221,064 fans
9. Red Bull: 1,623,102 fans
10. T.G.I. Friday’s: 974,192 fans

Swedish fashion retailer H&M; is at number 24 (1,341,742 fans). The motivation for the ranking: “The High fan interaction. The fashion retailer has had success in generating tens of thousands of responses with polls.”

It is also interesting to find the U.S. retailer Target on #43. Target took some heat in early 2008, when a PR representative responded to a blogger request like this:

“Unfortunately we are unable to respond to your inquiry because Target does not participate with non-traditional media outlets.

This practice is in place to allow us to focus on publications that reach our core guest.”

It seems that Target indeed learned from that incident.

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Flickr reaches 4 billion photos

The photo sharing site Flickr today reached 4 billion photos. The growth continues to be steady and over the last 2.5 years the site has grown with half a billion new photos every six months.

Photo number 4,000,000,000 can be viewed here.

Previous milestones for Flickr:

22 Oct 04: 1,000,000
20 Apr 05: 10,000,000
15 Feb 06: 100,000,000
22 Sep 06: 250,000,000
15 May 07: 500,000,000
19 Jul 07: 850,000,000
06 Oct 07: 1,500,000,000
13 Nov 07: 2,000,000,000
17 May 08: 2,500,000,000
03 Nov 08: 3,000,000,000
04 May 09: 3,500,000,000
11 Oct 09: 4,000,000,000

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10 most popular Swedish businesses on Twitter


More and more Swedish businesses are joining Twitter. In a recent study (in Swedish), I checked the corporate accounts with most followers and came up with this top ten list. The graph above was updated today and the company with most followers is Spotify, followed by H&M;.

Although it’s good to have a large following, of course the number of followers is not everything. Equally important is how the accounts are managed and if companies are engaging in conversations with others.

In the study I found that the active companies are actually quite good at maintaing a dialogue with followers. Roughly speaking, 80% of the tweeting companies post updates about news or announcements. Almost as many, 74% use Twitter to respond to feedback, answers questions or handle customer complaints. 32% use it for promotions and 6% use Twitter for rectruiting/HR purposes. This is quite a contrast to the notion that a large portion of tweets are pointless babble. At least businesses are trying to add meaningful information to Twitter.

Footnote: Stardoll and Ericsson Labs were not included in the initial analysis, but were added today. Hat tip to @beantin for the pointer to Ericsson Labs.

Update: A list of more than 160 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts can be found here. Feel free to add to the wiki.

Update Oct 8: Added Adland to the top list. Thanks @dabitch.

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Hey TechCrunch, Sweden is not the worst greenhouse gas emitter

Tjörn bridge, Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Stålhandske, 2008

A blogger writes a provocative post with claims that turn out to be completely false. It happens every day, why should I care? Well, if the blog in question is no other than TechCrunch, things start to get a bit problematic. The site is so influential that its content reaches many thousands of people. As you may have read in my previous post, TechCrunch posted an article on July 31 claiming that Sweden and Canada are among the worst emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. This turned out to be at least partly bogus but TechCrunch shows no interest in correcting the misleading information.

Actually I don’t really care if people lose trust in TechCrunch, but when disinformation about my country keeps on spreading across the web, I feel I need to raise my voice. The false article is bad enough, I could live with that. But due to the authority of TechCrunch and the behaviour of its readers, the false statements continue to have an impact for a very long time. Here’s why:

– As seen on Techmeme, Twitter users are still retweeting links to the article so the lies keep reaching new people. In total at least 220 retweets so far.

– The article has been dugg 110 times on Digg and I’m sure it has been shared on many other different platforms during the last few days.

– All this sharing helps place this story high on Google. For instance, in a search for “worst country greenhouse gas” the TechCrunch article comes up first. A search for “Sweden greenhouse gas” shows the article on top as a news result, with three more mentions in the first ten results. There is an obvious risk that the false facts will stay around and influence people’s opinions and views about Sweden.

There is really no need to add more proof, all the arguments and links are clearly available in the comments to the TechCrunch article. But just to point out how ridiculous statements like “So who are the worst offenders? Topping the list is Sweden!” are, I have compiled two tables below.

As TechCrunch actually noted further down in the article, USA is the country among the 42 in the report that emits most greenhouse gases. But a more fair comparison of course is to look at how much gas each country emits per capita. So I took the liberty of compiling a table of the 42 countries, based on the total emissions for 2006. Population numbers from the Population Reference Bureau (pdf).


The tables show that Australia is topping the list, which is due to a high reliance on coal to generate electricity. The US is in the top along with Canada, with Sweden at the very bottom.

Another way to illustrate how much greenhouse gas a country emits is by looking at the amount of emissions divided by GDP. That could illustrate the ability of a country to generate wealth with a small impact on the global environment.

In the following table, countries in Eastern Europe are the worst, while again Sweden is at the very bottom.


If you feel like I do, please continue to comment the article. You can also blog about greenhouse gas emissions and link to a trusted source (like some of the links above) so that the correct information climbs in the Google results. You can tweet about the story and include the hashtag #techcrunchfail.

Don’t sit back and let this insult stand unchallenged.

Additional links:
Sweden does the most of any country for tackling emissions of greenhouse gases.

Updated Swedish data: (zip file).

Photo credit: Fredrik Stålhandske, 2008

Updated with graphs from Sweden tops the Climate Change Performance Index 2009 (pdf).


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Almost 2 million Swedes read blogs

Following up on my previous post, I have now read through parts of the World Internet Institute’s new report about how Swedes use the internet.

Some of the more interesting findings are:

– 350,000 Swedes have a blog (estimate), or 6% of the online population.
– 1,900,000 Swedes read blogs (estimate), or 33% of the online population. That means that there are more than five times as many blog readers as there are bloggers. Possibly a good argument against the common view that “nobody reads blogs”.
– Young women between 16 and 25 years are frequent blog readers, see graph below. As many as 52% of all girls 16-18 years that are online, read blogs.


– There is a big difference in which types of communities that attract women and men. Women are more frequent users of social communities while men are more frequent users of hobby and professional communities, see graph below. In my BlogSweden 3 survey the responses indicated that women are more motivated by social interaction than men, which was also a result from a study by Kaye Trammell: “Female bloggers, however, were somewhat more motivated by social interaction (67.1%) than were their male counterparts (51.3%).”


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