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Summary:

A comparison of demographic data about Facebook’s users vs. Twitter’s users shows that there are a lot of similarities between the two platforms, but also some key differences in how people use the two networks — including how often they visit and update their status.

facbook_vs_twitter_infographic3x2

How does Twitter stack up against Facebook when it comes to demographics and online activity? Digital Surgeons, an online marketing agency, has put together an infographic comparing the Facebook population to the Twitter population, and it shows that while the two are similar in many respects in terms of age, income and so on, there are also some crucial differences of interest to marketers and others looking to mine the data and pick a favorite platform. Among the biggest differences are that Twitter users seem to be more active, but less interested in following brands.

Here are a few of the key findings represented in the infographic, which was based on data from a Barracuda Networks survey as well as an analysis from Razorfish and other demographic breakdowns from a number of sources (although the data on Twitter in particular is a little old — the service now has 190 million users).

  • 88 percent of people are aware of Facebook, while 87 percent are aware of Twitter
  • 12 percent of Facebook users update their status every day vs. 52 percent for Twitter
  • males make up 46 percent of Facebook users, and 48 percent of Twitter
  • 30 percent access Facebook via mobile vs. 37 percent for Twitter
  • 40 percent follow a brand on Facebook vs. 25 percent on Twitter
  • 70 percent of Facebook users are outside the U.S. vs. 60 percent for Twitter

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub req’d):

  1. Very interesting. I have to admit that the virtually identical level of awareness is somewhat of a surprise to me…

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    1. Yes, I agree — that surprised me as well.

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      1. Very surprising. I wonder if the stats would change dramatically when we follow other usage patterns. some of them could be
        1. Number of followers/following. I expect Twitter power users would have more than FB
        2. Status updates relating to professional v/s personal
        3. Use of DM

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  2. Very interesting. But “87 percent are aware of Twitter” is shocking. I’m pretty sure there are more than 13% (at least in Germany) which doesn’t know what Twitter is.

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  3. It appears that older people and women use Twitter over Facebook. Why is that?

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  4. In my personal opinion I prefer using Twitter than Facebook. In the future more people will come to know about Twitter.

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  5. Info graphic’s myopic focus on head count is only of interest to would be IPO investors and spammy advertisers. Missing the most important info…

    a) Twitter serves an entire ecosystem of third party clients b)mass integration with myriad apps, services, cross pollinates with other APIs <— Neither of those show up in the ,methods used to create the info graphic.

    Facebook "blackhole" sucks in data, let's nothing out, doesn't have third party eco system, stomps on any attempt to make data useful in new ways.

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    1. I agree that the infographic doesn’t really seem to capture the whole Twitter ecosystem of apps, services, API etc. Todd. Thanks for the comment.

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      1. It doesn’t ‘capture’ the Facebook ecosystem of apps, services, APIs etc. either, so not really sure what your point is here. It’s an infographic about supposed user statistics, not about third party activity.

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    2. As a third party developer, I actually think that Facebook has a much deeper vision and understanding of what a platform is. Twitter on the other hand does not have a great track record on the API front: they started strong but then failed when they took a turn and started to focus on monetization. Facebook on the other hand acquired friendfeed and has been doing a phenomenal job around the open graph API and facebook connect.

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      1. Great point — thanks, Edwin.

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  6. Matthew, I drew similar conclusions. The mobile numbers stood out to me, in particular. I thought they were much higher. Here’s my take on it: http://bit.ly/gX4Utl @bradmays

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    1. Good point, Brad. Thanks.

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  7. how can it be that only 27% of Twitter users log-in daily yet 52% update daily. One of those figures is clearly out of whack.

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    1. I agree. Perhaps it should be 52 per cent “of those who log in every day.”

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    2. I think it may have something to do with measuring Twitter.com logins vs. status updates via mobile apps etc., but I haven’t found the source of that particular stat.

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    3. I predict they are both too high.

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    4. The 52% of Twitter users that update daily seemed off to me as well. I wonder if that number is skewed by bot accounts, which is a problem that plagues Twitter, IMHO.

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  8. 57% of users are within the 26-44 yr old demographics for Twitter, while only 41% to Facebook. Young set of users for Facebook and thus, the FB ads should skew their messaging to this demographic. Am not sure if this is what is happening with FB ads.

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  9. Awesome infographic. Do they have proof that 52% of all twitter users update their status everyday. I have a very hard time buying into that number – even if it includes all the spam accounts.

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    1. I also doubt that stat, which makes me doubt the whole thing.

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  10. The 52% figure is probably off by a factor of 10. Perhaps 5% update their status daily. Even the source linked to the article says only 21% of Twitter users are “active” — meaning they’ve tweeted more than 10 times.

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    1. I agree – that seems much more likely.

      Also, there’s a difference between the number of users who each post every single day (without fail), and the number of users that will post on a given day.

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  11. Both mass media champions: Facebook and Twitter are results and symbols of Great American Degradation. America is becoming a “virtual good and services” producer. That is good news for China. Have anybody ever estimated a mass effect of a “social networks” on overall country productivity? How many working hours do social networkers spend on these sites per day, months a year?

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  12. Bit confused about the segments – do they represent the universe sample or the platform users sample? assume it’s a mix or are only 88% of facebook users aware of facebook? i’m concerned i’m being outrageously dim here!

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    1. We’ll probably never know Claire! This is pretty badly designed/misleading/unclear infographic.

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  13. [...] found this particular graphic through our friends at Gigaom in a nice writeup they did on the piece. As you can see, there really doesn’t appear to be too much of a [...]

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  14. Facebook? and Twitter?

    What are these?

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  15. 87% of users aware of twitter this is wonderful. I think more businessman uses twitter than facebook. Facebook crowded by all type users. Simply look on 18-25 age group uses facebook and 26-30 uses twitter. Mostly collage student, school student uses facebook.

    What I needed to se, I got here exactly. I really pleased by seeing this infograph. This is really great info-graph.

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  16. False data alert!

    Facebook has far more than ’500 million total users’. In July it declared it had 500 million MAUs (monthly active users – who had actively used the service within the previous 30 days), meaning there would be more users who had not used the service in that period, not included in that number.

    Whereas Twitter’s 106 or 190 million numbers are just the number of accounts created, which does not necessarily equate to real human users at all, due to the vast amount of spam accounts on the network, and those accounts that are completely/mainly inactive. For some ‘strange’ reason, Twitter never publish their monthly active users (or a similar metric) – however, we know from other research that large amounts of accounts are inactive: http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/report-most-twitter-users-dont-tweet-dont-follow-anyone.ars

    So from that, I do not believe 52% of all Twitter accounts have tweets posted to them each day. Especially when you’ve also linked to this which claims otherwise: http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/10/technology/twitter_users_active/

    I also feel comparing percentages who do things is not as useful as knowing the actual numbers, and pretty misleading. Working on the basis that there are around 50 million active (within the last month) Twitter users, and around 550 million active Facebook users, your stats should really be:

    - 66 million Facebook users update their status every day vs. 26 million for Twitter
    - 253 million males are active Facebook users, and 25 million on Twitter
    - 165 million people access Facebook via mobile vs. 18.5 million for Twitter
    - 220 million follow brands on Facebook vs. 12.5 million on Twitter
    - 385 million Facebook users are outside the U.S. vs. 30 million for Twitter

    More thoughts on comparing the networks:

    http://www.alchemyofchange.net/twitter-is-not-a-social-network/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/sep/27/twitter-facebook-charles-arthur

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  17. Interesting info. I personally use facebook more than Twitter.

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  18. False data alert!

    This infographic contains false data and is very misleading.

    The userbase quoted for Facebook is not correct. Facebook has far more than ’500 million total users’. In July this year they announced that they had reached the 500 million monthly active user milestone – in other words, over 500 million users were actively using their accounts within the previous 30 days. Obviously that number is still growing (so will probably be past 550 million by now), and more to the point, there will be a significant amount of Facebook users who aren’t active (haven’t used the service within the last month), so the ‘total users’ is probably above 600 million, if not more… not that I would recommend using ‘total users’ as a useful metric for anything.

    On the other hand, Twitter’s 106 and 190 million numbers are literally the number of accounts (not necessarily users, as any person can create multiple accounts without going against Twitter’s T&Cs) that have been created, instead of the number that have been recently active (within the past 30 days).

    Based on data from http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009/06/report-most-twitter-users-dont-tweet-dont-follow-anyone.ars http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2010/01/26/15-million-active-twitter-users/ http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/news_and_events/index.php?nid=387 and http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/10/technology/twitter_users_active/ (as you have referenced yourself in this post) we know that a large amount of Twitter accounts are not at all active. Realistically I estimate 50 million accounts are genuine (not just spam) and active – in otherwords, around 50 million users/people actively use the service.

    I think it is very misleading to user percentages when comparing Facebook and Twitter generally – raw numbers are far more telling and significant for anyone trying to weigh up their importance. So based on 550 million MAUs on Facebook and 50 million MAUs on Twitter, your breakdown of the data in the infographic (which itself seems dubious – the 52% of users tweeting every day, for instance – compared to the FACT that Facebook has over 250 million daily active users [whether or not they post a status update], also announced by Facebook in July, which would put their percentage for active use at over 50%), should read as follows:

    - 66 million Facebook users update their status every day vs. 26 million for Twitter (probably incorrect though based on research)
    - 253 million male Facebook users, and 25 million on Twitter
    - 165 million people access Facebook via mobile vs. 18.5 million for Twitter
    - 220 million follow a brand on Facebook vs. 12.5 million percent on Twitter
    - 385 million Facebook users are outside the U.S. vs. 30 million for Twitter

    I also massively doubt that 87% of people (worldwide population? Of people online? Even people in the US?) are aware of Twitter.

    I strongly recommend that GigaOM don’t post false information like this, especially without checking it out first.

    More discussion on Facebook vs. Twitter at:

    http://www.alchemyofchange.net/twitter-is-not-a-social-network/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/sep/27/twitter-facebook-charles-arthur

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    1. Sorry for the double-post – I didn’t get any response when I posted the first one so assumed it had got lost and re-wrote a longer one!

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  19. in my country, Indonesia, facebook #1

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    1. in my country, Paraguay, we use more facebook than twitter.. i use both

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  20. Wonderful infographic! … interesting that Facebook is less US-centric than Twitter is. Also that Twitter users tend to be a bit older. But surprised how similar many of the demographics were. Many thanks, Mark

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  21. [...] the Facebook vs Twitter Infographic, created by Digital Surgeons, shows the breakdown of user demographics for the two social [...]

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  22. [...] conference that Twitter has 105 million users.  It appears that in the last day or two many of the most popular tech blogs on the internet are taking the bait, including at least one blog that focuses [...]

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  23. Are social network users following a brand – or is the brand following them?

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  24. [...] huge hey? GigaOm, TheNextWeb and ZDNet are a few of those who republished the nice and shiny graphic- apparently [...]

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  25. Highly Useful research on social media. Is it possible to provide break up for each country as 60% to 70% of users are outside US? This may provide insights to the user behavior.Thanks.

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  26. What percentage of Twitter’s registered users are active daily?…

    According to this recent (but possibly out of date) infographic, about 52% update their status every day: http://gigaom.com/2010/12/20/facebook-vs-twitter-an-infographic/…

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  27. Twitter numbers are wrong. If there is 100mil tweets per day and 52% update their status each day yet many people tweet 10, 20, 30 times a day no way 52 mil people log in and update each day. My math shows at most 20 mil use the network each day. At most world wide. I have studied Twitter heavily. I counted tweets per account I follow running through my feed. Plus the number of accounts barely used is very high.

    So if that is wrong what else is wrong?

    The Facebook data looks pretty good. It also shows the same drop in usage I have noted since April. There were 200mil logging in each day in April out of 400mil accounts. Now the same for 500mil. Time spent per person per day is down to 43mins from 55mins a significant 22% drop. Number of photos uploaded per person per month has dropped from 7.5 to 5.5 a 26% drop.

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  28. fantastic one to know this social binding network percentage.amazing and surprising

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  29. It is interesting that those of a higher income dont engage very highly in social networking than those of the lower income bracket. This indicates to me that these sites may be use more for entrepenuerial advancement or that those who are more affluent have less spare time to “play on the computer”.

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  30. I assume the graphic is supposed to help you compare the sites, but the design is such that it’s not much better than looking at the raw numbers. The pie slices don’t mean anything relative to ones next to them and the angle of the slice doesn’t convey any information. I can easily tell that more people on are outside the US than update their statuses daily, but I have no need to compare those numbers. What I’d like to do is compare Facebook vs. Twitter in each category, but to that I end up looking at the numbers… which I didn’t need the graphic to do.

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  31. I somewhat don’t agree with that 87% people know about twitter…I don’t think this situation has arrived yet….

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  32. The “login everyday” vs “update their status everyday” mismatch confuses me. Aren’t you supposed to log-in to update your status?

    It seems I think that twitter users don’t perceive that they “login” even when they (we) do, so that would mean that twitter’s frequency of use is greater than facebook’s

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  33. [...] and Twitter have a very similar demographic This infographic from GigaOM is interesting.  As mentioned in the title Facebook and Twitter have a very similar [...]

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  34. this chart is useless. What is the definition of ‘people’. Is that the whole world? People with access to tech? People who have access to mobile internet……this chart looks good but it’s data has no baseline. Are 88% of the users of facebook aware of facebook? I would think it would be a 100%

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  35. twtter versus Facebook Demographic Numbers (w. Delicious Infographic): http://t.co/jGnCCMGY twttr users r mor… (cont) http://t.co/EH2Hae1u

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