Before you can plan an effective marketing strategy for any social platform, you need to understand who’s using it, and how. Here are the most important Twitter statistics you need to know to understand how and why people are using this social network in 2021.
Bonus: Download the free 30-day plan to grow your Twitter following fast, a daily workbook that will help you establish a Twitter marketing routine and track your growth, so you can show your boss real results after one month.
1. Twitter has an advertising audience of 353 million
That number is up 8% since Q3 2020, an increase of 27 million users.
This number is an extrapolation by Hootsuite and We Are Social based on Twitter’s self-serve advertising tools.
The number Twitter itself publishes to describe its audience is “monetizable daily active users” (or mDAUs). That number is 187 million as of Twitter’s Q3 2020 quarterly report, a 29% increase year-over-year.
2. Twitter’s user base is predicted to grow 2.4% in 2021
eMarketer originally predicted that Twitter would see 2.8% growth in 2020, but the pandemic changed everything. In October, they revised their 2020 forecast to growth of 8.4%.
Things should slow down to a more normal pace in 2021 with 2.4% growth, followed by 2.0% growth in 2022.
3. 90% of the U.S. population is familiar with Twitter (even if they don’t use it)
That’s actually a decline from last year, when 92% of Americans said they were familiar with Twitter.
For reference, 95% are aware of Facebook, and 91% are aware of Instagram.
That’s based on the number of monthly active users. It’s a global ranking, but excludes China, a market with many apps not available in the rest of the world.
5. Twitter turns 15 in 2021
Launched in March 2006, Twitter hits the decade-and-a-half mark this year.
6. Twitter ranks 7 (out of 9) digital platforms for digital trust
That’s not great. Only TikTok and Facebook fare worse. Only about 57% of U.S. users strongly to somewhat agree that Twitter protects their privacy and data.
7. 68.7 million (or 19.4%) of Twitter’s users are based in the U.S.
That makes Americans the largest percentage of Twitter’s user base.
Japan and India are the company’s second- and third-biggest markets.
However, European markets may be catching up – because…
That’s the largest increase of all Twitter markets worldwide. There are now 5.45 million Germans using this social platform.
Nearly ¾ of Twitter’s audience is male, an important consideration when thinking about how you can use this network to connect with your particular audience. (Male and female are the only options Twitter reports for gender.)
In the United States, the gap is smaller: 54% of U.S. Twitter users are male, and 43% female.
In Canada, the gap is even smaller: 43% of Canadian online men have a Twitter account, and 41% of Canadian online women.
For a wider view on Twitter’s users, check out our in-depth breakdown of Twitter demographics.
This percentage has stayed relatively steady over the past few years, with a bit of a dip in 2019, to 19%.
This makes Twitter sixth in terms of U.S. population use. More Americans use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
And only 25% have no college education at all.
Like their American counterparts, Canadian Twitter users are likely to have a high annual income (over $60,000) and a college degree.
That’s the largest age segment, closely followed by the 35- to 49-year-olds at 28.2%.
Men outnumber women in all age categories, but especially in these two largest cohorts.
Source: Hootsuite/We Are Social
In the United States, Twitter users are much more likely to lean to the left of the political spectrum. Of U.S. adult Twitter users, 65% are Democrats or lean Democratic, and 33% are Republicans or lean Republican.
The Democrats on Twitter also lean further left than their non-Twitter peers.
15. 99% of Twitter users also use at least one other social network
Twitter users don’t operate in a vacuum. 87% of them also use Facebook, and 84% also use Instagram.
This creates opportunities for effective remarketing campaigns.
While Facebook dominates in North America, Twitter takes top spot in Japan, with 64.1% of social network users onboard. In fact, more than 25% of Twitter users live in Asia-Pacific.
17. 9.6% of U.S. adults significantly increased Twitter usage during the pandemic
2020 was a year of increased social media usage overall, but Twitter did not get as big a bump as the more visual platforms that make for more entertaining doom-scrolling.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok all saw larger increases in usage during the early days of COVID-19.
That’s a 6% increase from the last half of 2019. The majority of those accounts were suspended for “hateful conduct.”
The median user tweets once a month, while the most prolific Twitter users tweet 157 times, according to Pew Research.
Those heavy Twitter users are much more likely to lean Democratic than Republican.
Source: Pew Research Center
20. 5% of U.S. Twitter users say it’s the social platform they use most often
Compare than to 54% for Facebook. Twitter’s 5% has remained unchanged since 2018.
And worldwide, 12% of people use Twitter as a news source. That puts Twitter behind Facebook (36% worldwide), YouTube (21%), and WhatsApp (16%).
It’s interesting to note that Instagram is gaining on Twitter as a news source, with the two networks almost tied for news use since 2019.
Here’s a different but related stat: 59% of Twitter users regularly get news from the platform. That’s the highest among social networks.
So, Twitter is not the social network Americans use. But getting news is a key feature of the platform for existing Twitter users.
23% access it weekly, and 26% less than once a day.
That’s an increase of 40% from Q2 to Q3 2020. There are more than 5,100 Topics available to follow.
24. 82% of B2B content marketers used Twitter for organic content marketing in the last 12 months
Twitter is tied with Facebook for this Twitter business statistic. Only LInkedIn ranks higher, at 96%. But…
We just told you Twitter was tied with Facebook for B2B organic content marketing. For paid Twitter ads, it’s way behind: 67% of B2B marketers use Facebook ads, compared to only 27% using Twitter.
If you’re marketing to a B2B audience, there may be untapped market space here for you to explore.
26. 19% of retail banks have a dedicated Twitter customer service handle
That’s in addition to their main account.
Twitter is an effective channel for social media customer service, and a dedicated service account can help ensure your team responds quickly to incoming requests.
That’s not the largest among social networks, but it’s still a substantial audience—especially when you find the right niche.
28. Twitter’s ad revenue is up 15%
Advertisers spent $808 million on Twitter in Q3 2020, based on “the return of events and increased product launches.”
Most of that advertising income comes from the USA, followed by Japan.
According to Twitter’s Q3 2020 report, users are increasingly engaging with ads on Twitter. Simultaneously, Twitter says that the CPE (cost per engagement) is down 9%.
Twitter points to price decreases across most ad formats and audience growth for these numbers.
If your Twitter marketing strategy could benefit from cheaper and more engaging ads, you might want to check out our guide to using Twitter ads.
For app carousel ads, the increase was 24%. Both of these numbers come from Twitter’s Beta testing of the new ad format, which launched in November 2020.
31. #COVID19 was the most-used hashtag of 2020, followed by #BlackLives Matter
#COVID19 was used nearly 400 million times.
Pew Research found that #BlackLivesMatter was used an average of 3.7 million times per day from May 26 to June 7.
Source: Pew Research Center
#StayHome was number 3.
With critical topics dominating the discussion, brands need to tread lightly and think carefully about how they use social platforms. As we explain in our 2021 Social Trends Report, silence can be golden.
While people used Twitter to talk about difficult and important topics in 2020, they also used it for entertainment and escapism.
It’s interesting to note that only one of the Top 5 most-discussed TV shows is from Hollywood: Grey’s Anatomy. The number-one most discussed show was Big Brother Brasil.
Game of Thrones, Tiger King, and Stranger Things also made the top 10.
Even though many sporting events were cancelled, people had plenty to say about sports.
The most Tweeted-about sporting event was the Super Bowl, and the most discussed team was the LA Lakers.
There were also more than 2 billion Tweets about video games, an increase of 75% from 2019.
Sourdough. Banana bread. People filled their time with baking this year, and that increased kitchen time showed up in a massive increase in cooking Tweets.
In one of the first weeks of pandemic restrictions, there were 500,000 Tweets about cooking and baking every day. And there’s a daily average of 29,000 tweets about chocolate.
Food and drink-related emojis saw a big bump, too:
That’s a lot of tears, both happy and sad. Here are the rest of the top 10 emojis from last year:
There was also a 72% year-over-year increase in watch time. Video has definitely found its place on Twitter.
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