You might have heard about recent Nielsen data showing that 60 percent of Twitter users stop using the service after a month. That's quite an attrition rate, and critics quickly pounced on the numbers because it didn't take into account Twitter use via third-party applications. So the Nielsen folks reran the study by adding in more than 30 websites and applications that feed into the Twitter community including: TweetDeck, TwitPic, Twitstat, Hootsuite, EasyTweets, Tumblr. And guess what? They found no change in the results. About 60 percent of people on Twitter end up abandoning the service after a month. This is not to dismiss the Twitter phenomenon - just to modulate its impact. Nielsen's David Martin explains the follow-up in the above video, and Peter Kafka at All Things Digital: has this take:
If you're so inclined, you can argue that Nielsen is still missing a big swath of Twitter users because it seems to have ignored mobile apps, which is where a lot of Twittering occurs. But I still think Nielsen's numbers sound about right, both in methodology and conclusion. I think it's entirely possible that the majority of people who try Twitter don't end up sticking with it, and I think that people who do use Twitter on third-party apps still end up at the site once a month. I do.