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Typical Twitter User: Has iPhone, Likes Purple

She’s American, 28, has 208 followers, loves her iPhone, talks endlessly about her family and fashion – and her favorite color is purple. She’s also, according to new research, the average Twitter user.

This composite character was pieced together through an analysis of 36 million Twitter profiles by Beevolve, a social media marketing firm based in London — but it’s more of weird science than an exact one. For instance, among Twitter’s active followers, the mean number of followers is 208, but more than four-fifths of the micro-blogging site’s members have fewer than 50. And, according to the survey, 25% of Twitter’s 140 million accounts have never been used. (Though some 40% of users have not tweeted over the last month, they may log on just to read tweets by others, says Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman.) The average age of 28 was calculated by analyzing both user bios and tweets.

The content of the typical user’s tweets is also fairly predictable, the survey found. The most common subject broached is family. Over half of those who use the site are based in the U.S. “Love” is the most often-used word in people’s bios, and fewer than one in 200 users disclose their age.

Some women whose profiles match the average Twitter demographic say the findings are dead on. Jennifer P. Brown,  32, a social media analyst based in St. Petersburg, Fla. with 1,684 followers, says women are generally more open about their emotions in real life and on the site. “This is totally freaky – my go-to color is purple,” she says. Casey Stickles, 27, a New York-based publicist, has 158 followers, an iPhone, and uses Twitter to showcase her Instagram fashion photography and re-tweet news stories she likes. “But I’m not one to tweet about fashion or my love life,” she says. “I’m a socially skilled fat kid at heart.”

Here are some other results from the survey:

  • Roughly half of all tweets are sent from the U.S.
  • Members follow fewer people than follow them.
  • Female users outnumber males by 53% to 47%.
  • Women tweet more about family and fashion.
  • Men prefer to tweet about sports and technology.
  • The average user has sent nearly 800 Tweets.



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  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.