Twitter's sign-up figures are skyrocketing but the site's reach will remain limited to less than a tenth of online consumers unless it can reduce the proportion of quitters, Neilsen exec David Martin tells AdAge. Over 60% of people who get a Twitter account soon abandon the service, according to Neilsen figures, meaning that surges in user numbers like the recent "Oprah effect" are hugely overstated.
"Twitter has really big hype—it's the hype that much bigger sites like MySpace or Facebook had when they were coming up. But it's just not going to live up to that hype in the long run, audience-wise, if it can't get retention up," said Martin. He noted the bigger sites managed to boost retention figures up from 40% to 60%, while Twitter's have not passed 40%.