State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2011 – Overview

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

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 2011. 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 2011:

  • More than 46,000 local users posted at least one tweet.
    • A little over 1000 of those accounts no longer exist.
  • More than 11.2 million tweets were posted by local users, which works out to 21.4 tweets per minute.
    • That’s 2.3 times as many tweets as were posted in 2010.
  • Here’s a breakdown of those tweets:
    • More than 715,000 tweets were tagged #yeg or a related hashtag (like #yegfood) (6.4%, down from 7.7% last year)
    • Nearly 700,000 tweets were retweets (6.2%, down from 7.2% last year)
    • More than 4.4 million tweets were replies (39.4%, up from 34.7% last year)
    • More than 1.7 million tweets were replies to other local users (15.2%, up from 13.5% last year)
    • More than 2.5 million tweets contained links (22.9%, down from 26.9% last year)
    • More than 320,000 tweets were twooshes (a twoosh is exactly 140 characters) (2.9%, down from 3.9% last year)

While more than 46,000 local users posted a tweet last year, just under 24,000 were active at the end of the year in December (active means they posted at least one tweet). That’s 1.9 times as many active users as January. That’s slightly better growth than we saw in 2010, when December had 1.8 times as many active users as January.

When the year started, Edmontonians were posting a little over 600,000 tweets per month. By the end of the year, that number had nearly doubled to 1.1 million tweets per month. That’s less than the growth that Twitter as a whole experienced last year (3 times as many tweets were posted as compared to the same point in 2010) but is more or less what we saw in Edmonton in 2010 (as compared to 2009).

Roughly 49.1% of all tweets in 2011 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM, down slightly from 50.8% in 2010. Once again the lowest point for tweet volume was around 4 AM. Last year there were clear early morning and late night spikes, but this year only the late night spike is present (8 PM to 11 PM).

There’s a much nicer looking curve for days of the week this year, with the most tweets being posted during the middle of the week. Sunday typically had the lowest volume of tweets posted.

Here’s a look at the number of tweets posted per day for each day of the year. As with last year’s chart, the trend is clearly up, and there are some visible spikes and troughs. The dip on April 9 appears to be an anomaly in the data, perhaps there were issues with the Twitter API that day (unless you have another idea!). The peak on June 15 was not immediately obvious but it turned out after looking at a Wordle of the tweets that the spike was due to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. With nearly 45,000 tweets posted that day, it remained the record until October 25 when discussion about the downtown arena became the talk of Twitter here in Edmonton. More than 46,000 tweets were posted that day, with almost as many being posted on the next two days as well. The spike on November 17 appears to be related to the snow and cold weather that arrived that week.

Coming Up

In order to make it easier for me to write 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 suggestions for additional parts to the report, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2011 – Overview

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