web development for search engine optimization

Twitter Usage Statistics by Hour

There many reasons I can think of (and some, perhaps you can add) of why it would be useful to know the statistics that show what time of day most people use Twitter.

  • Hourly Twitter statistics can show the ideal time to advertise on Twitter
  • Hourly Twitter statistics can show the ideal time to service a Twitter app

The other day I realized something: FeedTwit, my free Twitter app, inherently accumulates these statistics. I could use them myself, which would definitely help me provide good service along with the Twitter replies to my customers, but I could also share these stats with other people using Twitter.

This is why I decided to share these Twitter usage statistics with the community. I will update these stats on a weekly basis- which you can track through an RSS feed on the statistics page. Currently I only provide hourly usage statistics but will eventually share day-of-the-week usage as well (which day of the week do people tweet the most?).

A note about methodology: these stats are based upon the number of messages people receive through FeedTwit. Most, but not all, of these are Twitter mentions of the follower (aka Twitter @ replies). Some are simply RSS feeds sent as direct messages. Most users of this service live in the United States and, more specifically, California. My thought is that this is a statistical sample of tweets, but only a small portion of tweets going out.

Here are a couple preliminary observations for the first week’s statistics:
Hourly Twitter Usage Statistics for this week
The first observation is that the lowest usage occurs at 7 am EDT. There is a blip of service peaking at 5 am, but that is a “cleanup” part of my Twitter app and should be ignored (it will disappear in the future- in fact, it will be interesting to see if this emerges as a low usage time as other statistics have shown).

My second observation is that there are a couple peaks in service: around Noon EDT, 4pm, and then 11pm. I think these can be correlated with meal times in different timezones (what does this say to critics of Twitter who mock it for only reporting what people ate for dinner?).

The interesting question this brings up seems to revolve around Twitter advertising. Should you tweet your message at one of these peak times (say, 4pm EDT) when it might be overwhelmed in the mass of tweets going out or should you avoid those times so you are more easily noticed. I have decided to send Twitter messages for those who sponsor FeedTwit at 2pm EDT- which will proceed the 4pm peak when most people receive messages- with the hope that I will be noticed but not lost.

In light of this data, what do you think? When would be the best time of day to tweet a message that people will see and then check out?

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