Social networking software

Study: 8 Percent of Americans Use Twitter

Nearly one in 10 American adults who use the Internet are Twitter users.

That comes from a study released today by the Pew Research Center, which also noted that while 8% call themselves Twitter users, only a quarter of that number tweet generally every day.

The study also showed that 36% of U.S. Twitter users check what others are tweeting at least daily, sometimes many times a day. However, 41% said they check the site less than once every few weeks or not at all. The remaining quarter of users reported that they check in with Twitter either a few days a week or every few weeks.

So if the majority of Twitter users aren't bothering to check to see what other people are tweeting about, how often are they tweeting themselves?

The Pew study showed that 72% of Twitterers are posting tweets about their personal lives, and 19% added that they post personal updates once a day or more.

That echoes a Rutgers University study from about a year ago that showed that 80% of Twitterers are largely tweeting about themselves -- their activities, feelings, opinions and other personal information.

And 55% of those surveyed say they post links to news stories, with 12% saying they do that once a day.

Regardless of concerns about privacy, 24% say they tweet their location -- and 7% do so on a daily basis.

The survey comes nearly a year and a half after Pear Analytics LLC reported that its own survey showed that 40.55% of tweets are "pointless babble."

According to Pew, the study released this week is based on two different phone surveys - one conducted in October and one done in November. Between the two surveys, roughly 3,250 people were interviewed.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

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