Only 1 in 20 Americans Use Twitter

Last Updated May 6, 2009 9:36 PM EDT

If you prefer bad news, a new Harris Poll reports that only 5 percent of Americans are using Twitter so far.

If, on the other hand, you prefer good news, this means that the upside for Twitter, the fastest-growing service in our time, hasn't even begun to be realized.

The Harris findings also indicate that 51 percent of Americans do not yet have a MySpace or Facebook account. Again, depending on your perspective, there is lots of upside here.

Parsing the data further, there are other useful findings:

  • 74 percent of those aged 18-34 years old have a Facebook or MySpace account, but this quickly drops off the older one gets. Only 24 percent of those 55 and older, for example, have an account.
  • 8 percent of 18-34 year olds use Twitter, 7 percent of those 35-44 use it; 4 percent of those aged 45-54 and just 1 percent of those 55 and older use it.
  • Men and women use Twitter at the same levels, but women are more likely to have a Facebook or MySpace account (52% versus 45%).
  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.