So 60% of Twitter users quit after one month or less? Actually, that doesn’t surprise me at all. I don;t think Twitter is necessarily for everyone first off, and more than that, it’s actually kind of difficult to figure out at first, and takes quite a bit of work before you see the benefits. Most of the world simply never gets past the need for instant gratification and takes to the time to find the benefits.
Here’s a simple comparison, go sign up for a new Facebook account. It’ll ask you to import your address book and look for folks you know. It’ll ask you to fill out your profile information, and take the place you work, or the school you went to, and makes those links, so you’re one click away from seeing the search results for other folks with that same information. So you can see your classmates and coworkers within 5, maybe 10, minutes of signing up. Then you can add photos, and fill in all sort of other interests, and information about yourself.
Now, go sign up for a new Twitter account. You might be able to figure out how to have Twitter import your email contacts, and identify contacts who are using Twitter, and you can fill out a short profile about yourself, link to a website, and upload one photo. Then what? On Twitter.com how do you find people you might want to follow? How do you identify people you already know from your work or school? You can’t. If you heard about Twitter on TV or read about it in the paper, and decided to check it out, what do you do from here? So, you try it out, and then you decide it’s a waste of time.
Now, of course, if you start Twittering because someone you already know who is a big user, showed it to you, got you signed up and got you connected to some people, Twitter starts to make sense, and the benefits are clear much sooner. I’m betting the quit rate for those folks is less than 60%, at least.
So, will Twitter do something to make it easier to connect, or continue to rely on third-parties to do so? It would help to have something obvious to new users on the site itself. It shouldn’t require high level of web-savviness to use, that only limits the audience.