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How Twitter use has changed, from 2009 to 2010

It’s been a good year for Twitter, and not merely because the company announced yesterday it has secured another huge round of funding, reports ReadWriteWeb. The microblogging platform has grown by over 100 million users this year and expanded its staff from 130 to 350 people. And it’s rolled out major redesigns and improvements to its site, mobile apps and APIs. People who created a Twitter profile before January 2009 now account for just 4.7% of the total Twitter population. That’s one of the findings in a new study by the social media analytics and monitoring service Sysomos that examines over 1 billion tweets from 2010 and compares the data with Twitter usage in 2009. So how has the influx of new users changed the ways in which Twitter is used? The results of the study suggest we may be disclosing more personal information in our profiles and following more people, but even as more people have joined, most Twitter activity still comes from a very small number of users. The number of Twitter users who provide personal information in their bios has more than doubled since last year; 82% of Twitter users now provide a name, compared with only 33% in 2009. And 73% provide location information, compared to 44% in 2009. Forty five percent give a website address, up from 22% a year ago. This seems to indicate that Twitter users are becoming more comfortable disclosing personal information on the site, but more importantly perhaps, that having a profile on Twitter is becoming increasingly important.  Of course, one of the most popular two-word phrases in personal profiles is “Justin Bieber,” so I’m not sure we can argue that this is all about professional networking…

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