Twitter is having no trouble signing up users. But some new research provides an update on the size of an ongoing problem: getting people to tweet.
A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, states that about 44% of the 974 million existing Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet.
Twopcharts, which provided some data about tweeting activity last month, is unable to track when someone has logged into their account. It can only tell when the account retweets or tweets its own message.
Twitter said it has 241 million monthly active users the last three months of 2013. Twitter defines a monthly active user as an account that logs in at least once a month. By Twitter’s standards, a person does not have to tweet to be considered a monthly active user.
To be sure, people don’t have to actively tweet to find the service useful. There’s more than enough stuff to read on almost any topic in the world on Twitter to keep users occupied.
But having engaged users–those who are active participants in the online conversation–are particularly valuable to Twitter. For one thing, activity tends to make users more inclined to continue using the service.
Secondly, user tweets, retweets, favorites and other actions help Twitter generate advertising revenue. Over the last year, the company has made it easier for users to do those things and introduced user-friendly features such as pictures into the timeline.
A Twitter spokesman declined to comment, saying the company does not comment on third-party data.
Yet it appears Twitter accounts in general don’t say much. This could be because they are quietly reading the tweets or haven’t come back to the service. Twopcharts said that 30% of existing Twitter accounts have sent 1-10 tweets. Only 13% of the accounts have written at least 100 tweets.
Moreover, the report highlights Twitter’s user retention issue. It estimates 542.1 million accounts have sent at least one tweet since they’ve been created, suggesting that more than half of the accounts in existence have actively tried out the service. But just 23% of those accounts have tweeted sometime in the last 30 days.