08/02/2009

Stephen Fry tops Twitter (well almost) | Mobile Industry Review

Stephen Fry tops Twitter (well almost) | Mobile Industry Review

This article was written (by my good self) on Saturday 7th Feb and Stephen Fry @stephenfry had somewhat over 100,00 users. As of Sunday 9th of Feb 2009 at 4pm he has 152,375 followers. Obama has 246,262. 3rd place goes to CNN with 144,643 and poor Kevin Rose (of Digg/Rev3/etc) only has 102,051.

OK so Stephen Fry is now 2nd in the Twitter ranks, but it's the speed at which he's got there which is surprising.

Obama has been going for 1.9 years (i.e. about 693 days) which is about 355 new followers per day. Kevin Rose (and the publicity machine of Diggnation etc) has achieved his following in about 766 days which is 133 followers per day.

Mr Fry has achieved an average of 733 new followers every day since joining Twitter. His stats are completely skewed of course since he gained at least 50,000 during the weekend following his appearance on Jonathan Ross @wossy a few weeks ago (who is now on 69,871 followers which means he's getting 998 new followers per day). Philip Schofield @schofe) is also climbing up the ranks fast (though only with 42,542 followers).

Since Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Philip Schofield are pretty much British institutions, does this mean that UK Twitter use is increasing as dramatically?

The other side of this is how does Twitter hope to make any kind of money? They have raised VC, the number of users is increasing dramatically, but so are the costs. Just delivering Stephen Fry's tweets must require lots of infrastructure and hardware. Are they gearing up for a sale? Who could buy them? Personally I'd guess the only possible suitor is Vodafone who could bring back SMS for tweets and roll the system out to Asia where everyone is used to sending stuff by SMS and would pay for it. Vodafone are probably big and ugly enough to pull it off.
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