Twitter caused a stir recently when it admitted that many active users are not human – but “bots” sending out automated tweets.
Now there is hard data to go with that claim, reports Zachary Seward of Quartz.
Twitter representatives announced that “up to approximately 8.5%” of active accounts are automatically updated “without any discernible additional user-initiated action.”
That translates to about 23 million of 271 million monthly active Twitter users (MAUs) as of the end of June.
An earlier statement from the company said that 14 percent of MAUs access Twitter from beyond the official website and mobile apps, using Twitter’s API. The latest estimates clarify that statement by adding that the 14 percent figure includes “certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications.”
These updated figures allow Seward some other calculations:
- 8 million (3 percent) of Twitter’s MAUs use either TweetDeck or Twitter for Mac
- 7 million (2.5 percent) of Twitter’s MAUs use a third-party client
- 23 million (8.5 percent) of Twitter’s MAUs are automated bots
Bots are not automatically spammed accounts, which Twitter estimates are less than 5 percent of MAUs. Bots are useful and can be an essential tool for Twitter users.
Twitter’s issue with bots is that once set up, they rarely have human interaction, an important factor for advertisers looking to reach potential customers.
If bots are a concern to advertisers, they should also concern Twitter and its shareholders.