- Twitter hit its peak usage in 2021 and will start shedding substantial numbers of users.
- Many people who joined the platform during the height of the pandemic will start to leave in 2022 as the news cycle dies down.
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Twitter’s user base will decline in 2022, despite efforts to attract new users. In recent months, Twitter has rolled out more new products than probably ever in the platform’s history, including subscriptions and Clubhouse-rival Spaces. But those new features will do little to attract new users and are more likely to increase engagement among existing ones.
Twitter’s dependency on the news cycle and events is mainly to blame for the losses. The events of the past two years helped Twitter reach two important milestones: In 2020, it registered its highest growth rate in five years, and in 2021, Twitter hit its peak in monthly users. But many people who joined the platform during the height of the pandemic will start to leave in 2022 as the news cycle dies down.
We’ve rounded up key trends and highlights about Twitter users in 2022.
How many users does Twitter have?
After larger-than-expected growth in 2020, Twitter will only add 6.7 million worldwide users to reach 345.3 million in 2022. Its penetration among worldwide internet users will begin declining this year. Some have dropped off the platform, while others aren’t joining fast enough to maintain previous growth rates.
US Twitter user stats
Twitter will lose 1.1 million US monthly users between 2021 and 2025. Twitter’s user growth fell back to a more pre-pandemic rate last year and will turn negative this year.
The steepest user declines between 2022 and 2025 will come from adults ages 35 to 44. Nearly 60% of Twitter users are ages 18 to 44. The strong user decreases in the older part of that age group will have a ripple effect on the platform, as there won’t be enough new users from other age groups to make up for the losses. In 2022, every age group will lose users, except the 0- to 11-year-old cohort, who are too young to use Twitter anyway.
What does this Twitter forecast mean for marketers in the US?
Slowing Twitter user growth may not sound like music to many marketers’ ears, yet it’s also natural in a mature social media market. But it does mean there will be fewer first-time users, leading to greater competition among the platforms for the attention of existing ones. It’s imperative that US marketers keep the changing usage patterns in mind when planning their 2022 social media strategies.
Here are the top takeaways for US marketers:
Don’t quit social media
Despite its problems, marketers should not abandon social networks. In November 2021, cosmetics company Lush indefinitely deactivated its Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok accounts, citing the negative effect those platforms have on users’ health as the reason. (It’s keeping its Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts, however). Lush isn’t the first company to walk away from social media, but most pullbacks so far have been temporary.
Quitting social media is a luxury most brands can’t afford. Lush is a major cosmetics retailer with more than 900 stores worldwide and a globally recognized brand. But the reality for most companies, particularly smaller ones, is that social platforms remain one of the best ways to connect with their audiences. Most marketers, of course, already know this: 91.5% of US marketers from companies with 100 employees or more will use social media for marketing purposes in 2022, per our latest forecast. The remaining 1 in 10 that won’t use social media this year have resisted signing up for so long, it’s unlikely they ever will.
Form a TikTok Strategy—Stat
TikTok is now a formidable player in the social media market. While young consumers are still the core of TikTok’s user base, usage is growing across the entire US population at a rate that no marketer should ignore. Brands that haven’t yet tested the TikTok waters should do so in 2022.
US marketers should look to creators to both guide and participate in their campaigns, and content should be fun and entertaining. Recently launched content studios can help brands new to TikTok build a strategy and create content for their campaigns. TikTok’s creator marketplace matches brands with creators for collaborations. Creators are what makes TikTok tick, and partnering with the right ones can help boost brand visibility on the platform.