Twitter: Room for U.S. Growth or Potential Reached?

Over 90 percent of the U.S. population is now aware of Twitter, but only 8 percent currently makes use of the social networking service, according to estimates from research firm Edison. Data from Twitter, meanwhile, suggests it continues to enjoy rapid growth globally, attracting almost half a million new account registrations a day.

Edison’s data could imply the social network has saturated its potential audience, and already attracted the volume of users that it’s likely to in the U.S. On the other hand it could represent a huge opportunity for the company to capitalize on the awareness it’s generated, and to convert some of the remaining 84 percent of Americans that are aware of the service, but not currently using it.

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The research firm recorded a huge uptick in Twitter usage between 2009 and 2010, which slowed dramatically in 2011. Overall, it estimates 20 million Americans currently use the service, based on more than 2,000 user surveys conducted during the four weeks ending February 2nd.

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According to data released by Twitter itself this week, however, new account registrations are booming globally. An average of 460,000 accounts were opened a day during approximately the last month, the company said. That represents almost 14 million new accounts being registered on a monthly basis.

In terms of tweet volume, the company said it now trafficks a billion a week, or 140 million a day. That figure has almost tripled compared with the 50 million tweets a day the network supported a year ago.

Twitter also reported a 182 percent increase in the number of mobile users accessing its platform compared with last year.

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