Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stephen Fry has 200,000 followers on twitter

As at 2.37 today (UK time) Stephen Fry got his 200,000th follower on twitter. He would have been asleep when this happened, as he's currently in LA.

Twitter is currently all the rage in the UK. Private Eye, which is usually very slow on the uptake with new technology, satarises it on page 18 (not available online) of the latest edition, and in doing so reveals that they really don't understand it.

So - 200,000 followers. Am I being slightly cynical to say that this helps us to estimate the popularity of twitter, at least in the UK? From my experience, virtually every British twitter user, or at least the those joining in the past 2 months, follows Stephen. In effect, he's like a default 'Tom' for twitter, a role he's had thrust upon him. So can we use his number of followers to estimate the number of active users? Or even tag it at the number who follow Jonathan Ross (currently 105,000), as he has a much lower profile abroad.

I'm not questioning the popularity of twitter.com. I'm more looking at the number of active users, vs ones who have look at the site but never registered. Hitwise, for example, puts twitter in the top 100 sites in the UK for January 2009.

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