Twitter has 218.3 million active users but the term “active” probably means something different to most of us.
With the micro-blogging service preparing for its initial public offering (IPO), executives at the tech firm have revealed some interesting user based details.
On page 61 of its S-1 filing with the SEC officials refer to an “active user” as anyone who regularly engages with Twitter.com, Twitter-based mobile apps, and also “Twitter users who logged in and accessed Twitter through…registered third-party applications or websites.”
That last sentence refers to users who click the Tweet button on a website and send links and other information to their accounts. In many cases those users share information but do not actually check on their Twitter timeline all that often.
Sometimes users click a Tweet button, other times they auto-syndicate messages to Twitter from their Facebook posts, Tumblr accounts, WordPress blogs, and more.
While those users are not logged in and viewing their Twitter accounts regularly, their messages do lead to more activity from on-site and third-party Twitter app users which in turn leads to an increase in revenue. Essentially “blind” Twitter users generate the content that leads to engagement, even if that engagement isn’t with the person who sent the links, photos, and other information to their Twitter account.
While blind users on a network are capable of creating a massive amount of shareable content, they can also be a liability. In it’s S-1 filing Twitter lists as a risk: “the degree to which users access Twitter content through applications that do not contain our ads.”
At this time Twitter has not revealed what it believes to be the percentage of users who are blindly sharing content with the social network.