Tweet it or Beat It? Should you join the Twitterati?

At this week’s Wavelength Connect digital day we listened to great speakers from Google, Ushahidi, Starbucks and Just Giving. All these organisations as well as Richard Sambrook formerly Director of BBC Global News and now at Edelman and Jacob Botter, of the edgy consultancy Wemind, are all doing exciting, inspiring work and thinking in the social media space.

Yet there was a digital divided amongst the 100 or so leaders that attended the event.  A key question was whether leaders should embrace the Twitterati. Opinions were divided.  I currently don’t tweet but being a person that loves to turn data into wisdom, I thought I would search out some “facts” to help me make my decision about whether to “Tweet It or Beat It?”

So here are 7 facts for and 7 facts against becoming part of the Twitterati.

7 Facts for becoming part of the Twitterati

  1. Everybody is doing it. In March 2011 there were estimated to be 225 million Twitter users
  2. It has a sizeable user base in the UK. In July there were over 6 million unique users of
  3. It’s versatile. There are over 100,000 Twitter applications
  4. It’s growing fast. 460,000 is the average number of new accounts per day created in February, 2011  (
  5. It’s a growing source of website traffic.
  6. It’s big in business. 71% of European Fortune Global 100 companies have twitter accounts
  7. They’ll talk about you if you don’t talk to them. 42% of Fortune Global 100 companies were tweeted about by others

7 Facts for saying “No!” to the Twitterati

  1. Only half of those registered on twitter are active usersTwitter has 100 million active users. i.e. someone who signs into twitter and uses the site at least one a month.  But this less than half the estimated registers user of 225 million
  2. Hardly anyone is one! Only 3% of the population are weekly users of twitter
  3. It’s an inferior source of website trafficsGoogle and Facebook are way ahead of Twitter in terms of driving traffic to websites even for news
  4. It’s frowned upon at workOne third of UK companies have banned social networks like twitter
  5. The time spent on tweeter has declined. In August 2010 4 million hours were spent on twitter in the UK, By April 2011 this had gone down to just over 2 million hours.
  6. Users are not using twitter much. On average each twitter user is spending less than a minutes a day on Twitter
  7. Twitter relationships aren’t real relationships. Twitter users would only phone up 0.3% of their online connections for a beer

Which arguments do you find most compelling? Are there any facts that I should have included? I look forward to any comments. They’ll help me make my decision.

Richard Addy is Special Adviser to the Director of News, Audience Strategy at the BBC.