Chapter 9

Twitter and life

Just over half of social media users (53%) have a Twitter account and most (67%) have had it for more than 3 years, according to the survey.

Have Twitter account? Percent
Yes 53%
No 47%

Data Source: Question: Do you have a Twitter account? (Base: Social Media Users, N=1000)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

Length of time Percent
Within the last year 10%
1 to 2 years ago 22%
3 to 5 years ago 46%
More than 5 years ago 21%

Data Source: Question: When did you first join Twitter? (Base: Twitter Users N=3713, asked between Nov. 23 and Dec. 15, 2014)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

An even wider world of people encounter Twitter without using it. Of all Twitter users, 68% see hashtags and Twitter handles or tweets displayed on TV, 61% in news stories, 52% from people reading tweets on TV. 40% hear about Twitter from friends and 28% on billboards, bus signs and elsewhere.

Where seen Percent
I see hashtags, Twitter handles, the Twitter logo, or tweets on TV 68%
I see news stories that reference or display tweets 61%
I notice people on TV and radio reading or showing tweets on screen 52%
From friends or family talking about Twitter 40%
I see billboards, bus signs or other displays with hashtags, Twitter handles, the Twitter logo, or tweets 28%
Other 4%
None of the above 9%

Data Source: Regardless of how you use Twitter yourself, which of the following ways do you come across references to or information from Twitter? (Base: Twitter Users N=3713)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

These are noticed by non-Twitter social media users too. Fully 51% of non-Twitter users have seen Tweets — 45% on TV, 33% from friends, 27% in news articles they read digitally, 22% from going to without signing up, 12% from search and 8% in the newspaper.

Where seen Percent
On TV 45%
A friend showed me one 33%
In an ews article online 27%
On even though I’m not signed up 22%
When I did a search 12%
In a newspaper 8%
Other 8%
None of the above 2%

Data Source: Have you ever seen a Tweet / Where do you remember seeing it? (Base: Non-Twitter Social Media Users N=469, Have Ever Seen a Tweet N=239)

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter


Twitter users tend to be younger than the average social media user. The average age is 36, according to the study, while overall social media users are 46 (28% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18-24 years old vs. 10% of overall social media users). A quarter of the Twitter sample have children (22%), compared with 34% for social media users in the panel in general, which reflects the younger average age. The majority have college degrees (57%) compared with 40% of social media users generally in the panel.

How Twitter users compare to other social media users

Twitter Social media users
Male 53% 48%
Female 47% 52%
Average age 36 46
Single 49% 28%
Married 37% 46%
Have children under age 18 in household 22% 34%
Have a college degree or higher 57% 40%

American Press Institute, DB5 and Twitter

Twitter users are more likely to own smartphones (92% of those with cell phones have smartphones) than social media users overall (79%), but they are no more likely to own tablets (54% vs. 54%).