State of Twitter
3 mins

Twitter has been a hot topic in the news lately, as the company has had changes in its CEO leadership along with newly announced product features. Now is a ripe time to take a look at where Twitter stands with regard to worldwide usage and install rates. The data and analysis below sheds light on the current state of Twitter.

Twitter’s Worldwide Appeal

For the last three quarters, Twitter has consistently been featured in Quettra’s list of the top ten most popular apps worldwide (by installs and daily active users). Here is the top ten most installed Android applications in the world over the last 9 months.

Worldwide Ranking by Installs


An In-Depth Look at the Regional Popularity of Twitter

Twitter has an exceptional install base in certain parts of Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. To take a closer look at the regional trends, we have compiled a list of the top tweeting nations based on Twitter’s install penetration in each country.

Top Tweeting Nations Based on Install Penetration


Twitter is one of Japan’s most favored social networks. According to a recent post on Globalme, tweeting in Japanese is a different experience than tweeting in English. Japanese language can convey much more content in 140 characters than English. Twitter has also been an important communication tool during multiple natural disasters.

The growth of Twitter is also noteworthy in the Middle East and Latin America. In 2014, eMarketer projected a 44.5% increase in Twitter’s user base in Argentina. In 2015, we certainly see Twitter expanding its wings in Latin American countries such as Mexico and Argentina.

In addition to looking at the install growth, we also look at Twitter retention. More specifically, we look at what percentage of users are active after installing Twitter for a month. In the graph below, we’ve charted the top 11 countries with the highest Twitter retention. In addition, we include India because it is an exponentially growing mobile market at the current time. India is an extremely weak market for Twitter in terms of retention. It is evident from our data that Indian mobile user prefer all three of Facebook Inc’s social networks overwhelmingly over Twitter. Twitter is aggressively taking measures to improve its growth in Asia and the Middle East by increasing ties with media partners and content creators to drive engagement (source: Techcrunch).

30-Day Retention of Twitter Users by Country


Usage Trends

Based on the worldwide install and usage data of over 36M Android users who were active on Twitter in Quettra’s panel from January to June of this year, we calculated the key usage statistics for Twitter. We also computed the usage statistics of an average Social app by averaging the data from the top 100 social apps by daily active users (DAU). Twitter’s Daily Active User (DAU) penetration1 is 14% while the Monthly Active User (MAU) penetration2 is 39%. Twitter has above average numbers for other usage statistics (refer to the table below).

Performance of Twitter vs. Other Social Apps


Retention Trends

Retention is an important metric to measure the performance of a given app. On average, most of the apps experience a 77% drop of daily active users in the first three days after installation. The retention rate is higher for Social apps, and as seen from the plot below, Twitter has above average retention figures. However, it is still far behind Facebook. Regardless, it still suffers from the classic three-day drop that most of the apps experience.

Global Retention in the First Month


Twitter has a bimodal usage distribution: The loyalists and the flirtists

Twitter has two main types of users: users who are highly engaged with the product and occasional users with infrequent use. In the chart below, we plot histograms of Twitter’s number of sessions and session lengths by observing user session data on a given day. A majority of users tend to have fewer sessions (from 1-2) and most of the sessions also tend to be short (from 0-90 secs).

Histogram of Number of Sessions


Histogram of Session Length



This data confirms that Twitter is still maintaining its position as one of the top social apps worldwide. It is especially popular in South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It still needs to catch up with Facebook with respect to retention, especially in India.

Earlier this month, Twitter named Jack Dorsey as the permanent CEO and announced a new product feature called Moments. Moments is a curated list of stories which groups tweets in a way that was previously unavailable. Time will tell if this feature will resonate with its users. Twitter also recently announced an update which expands its advertising offerings. Starting this weekend, Twitter will enable Promoted Moments which is a new native ad format that will be available for select brand partners in the United States.

There have been a lot of shake-ups at Twitter this month, so stay tuned as we continue to observe how the recent changes might affect Twitter’s performance.


  1. From a set of users on a given day, DAU penetration of an app is defined as the ratio of active users of that app and the total number of installed users of that app.
  2. From a set of users on a given month, MAU penetration of an app is defined as the ratio of active users of that app and the total number of installed users of that app.