State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2012 – Overview

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2012, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2012. You can see my previous annual recaps here: 2011, 2010, 2009.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this report is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and was collected over the course of 2012. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian, and thus a “local user”.

Please treat the numbers in this report as a minimum. There are instances where I wasn’t able to capture all of the data, and there are certainly users here in Edmonton who do not match the above definition of a “local user”. More important than the raw numbers themselves are the trends, and that’s why in many cases I have presented rounded rather than exact figures. You can click on any graph to see a larger version.

Here are the highlights for 2012:

  • More than 105,000 local users posted at least one tweet.
  • About 17 million tweets were posted by local users, which works out to 32.3 tweets per minute (up from 11.2 million tweets and 21.4 tweets per minute last year).
  • Here’s a breakdown of those tweets:
    • Nearly 900,000 tweets were tagged #yeg or a related hashtag (5.3%, down from 6.4% last year)
    • More than 850,000 tweets were retweets (5.1%, down from 6.2% last year)
    • About 6.5 million tweets were replies (38.8%, down from 39.4% last year)
    • Just under 2.4 million tweets were replies to other local users (14.2%, down from 15.2% last year)
    • About 4 million tweets contained links (23.3%, down from 22.9% last year)
    • Nearly 5 million tweets contained hashtags (28.9%)
    • More than 400,000 tweets were twooshes (a twoosh is exactly 140 characters) (2.5%, down from 2.9% last year)

When the year started, Edmontonians were posting about 1.2 million tweets per month. While the growth over the course of the year was less dramatic than in years past, the trend was clearly up. Please note that November shows a dip but that was due to issues with my system, and does not reflect a sudden drop in activity. October was the busiest month we’ve had in terms of tweet volume, with a little over 1.7 million tweets posted.

The day with the most tweets posted was November 7. A quick scan of the headlines shows that was the day of our major snowfall that caused all kinds of issues for Edmontonians, and clearly they took to Twitter to talk about it. A little over 50 tweets per minute were posted that day, and the number of local replies to one another was twice the average.

Roughly 47.5% of all local tweets were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM, which is down a little from 49.1% last year. The fewest tweets are posted around 4 AM, and the peak comes at around 9 PM.

Looking at days of the week, it turns out that Wednesday had the most tweets posted followed closely by Tuesday, with Monday being having the fewest. This is more or less the same as last year, when Wednesday was also the highest and Sunday was the lowest.

Looking at the stats by year is great, but it is the longer-term view that is most interesting. Here’s a look at the number of tweets posted per month since I started tracking back at the beginning of 2009:

When I built my tracking system at the end of 2008 there were very few users and very few tweets being posted each month. I have maintained and improved it over the last few years, and thankfully Twitter’s API has become incredibly stable. But the original design/approach has reached some limits. So with that in mind, I built a new system over the holidays that I will soon be launching at ShareEdmonton so that you can see this information in near real-time. It may not be as complete initially, but I will improve it over the course of the year. Stay tuned!

Coming Up

In order to make it easier to produce and consume this report, I have decided to break it into sections. This entry provided an overview, and upcoming entries will focus on different aspects of Twitter usage in Edmonton:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

If you have any questions about this information, please leave a comment below!