It was an interesting summer in the world of social media. We’ve seen a slew of updates to Facebook, mostly taking cues from other social media platforms and with very little internal innovation. These updates – especially last Wednesday’s changes to the user interface and to the news feed – have been largely, negatively received by Facebook users. We’ve also seen Google make another attempt to anchor market share with it’s beta Google + launched back in July and recently opened to everyone. Google + launched with a lot of activity and momentum and had a staggering rate of adoption at first. That hasn’t exactly played out, though, and Google + is a currently pretty quiet. So where does Twitter fall into all of this activity? Is it getting dusty? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Twitter is just changing. Though certain technology pundits will opine on the demise of Twitter, it continues to chug along, growing and innovating its platform. Audience gravity doesn’t lie, so let’s let the numbers as reported by Twitter tell the story:

100 million active users (who log on at least once per month)
50 million active daily users
However, 40% of active users don’t tweet… they’re just listening
400 million unique visits in August – not a small number at all
The active user audience on Twitter is up 80% so far this year

Make no mistake, Twitter is no Facebook. It does not want to be and it does not need to be, as it continues to fulfill a very different use among its increasingly diverse user base. And as adoption of Google + begins to retract, it’s clear Twitter does not face competition from that platform. Unlike Facebook and the promise of Google +, what Twitter has become (and why it continues steady growth) is an incredible broadcast medium. I appreciated this synopsis from Business Insider earlier this month: “Twitter is often both the fastest and most entertaining and interesting way to follow live events. People can follow exactly the people and brands they’re interested in. To anyone with a phone, Twitter is your world in your pocket.” Supporting that statement: Twitter and mobile are a formidable combination. Consider the increase in mobile use of Twitter from 37% in April to 55% in September. In just 18 months, the usage of Twitter has moved from predominantly on a desktop to predominantly mobile. When we think about being where our customers are, data points to Twitter on their mobile device. As you think about the role of Twitter in your communications, customer engagement and marketing mix, give thought to how the platform and its usage has evolved. If Twitter is currently an active platform in your strategy, it’s probably time to update your strategy.

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