How do people read tweets?

Updated. To put into perspective the impact of Twitter’s having shut down UberTwitter and Twidroyd today, look at these data from TwitterSource for “last day” on the various ways people read their Tweetstream:

  1. The web: 35%
  2. Ubertwitter: 7.3%
  3. Twitter for iPhone: 6.6%
  4. Twitter for Blackberry: 6.2%
  5. Tweetdeck: 5.3%

Shutting down 7 percent of your traffic?* Ballsy. That must be a serious policy violation: TechCrunch reports that at least part of the complain was trademark violation. From Carolyn Penner, Twitter’s spokeswoman:

These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.

According to UberMedia exec Bill Gross, the app UberTwitter is being renamed @UberSocial and all is well:

#UberTwitter#Twidroyd users: We have made the changes Twitter requested. As soon as Twitter reactivates, you will be live again. Thx!

Ubertwitter is a popular Blackberry client but they also make an iPhone client; Twidroyd is the “number one” Android client. Note that these two apps still have their standalone sites; logically, they should redirect to UberMedia, which purchased both applications. That would certainly make message unification easier.

I’m no fan of the minds behind UberMedia, a company that is only 10 months old. In April 2010, they launched as TweetUp — appropriating a name and a practice that grew organically before they existed. Then they became PostUp; after buying UberTwitter, they became UberMedia. They also bought EchoFon, and Twidroyd.

On Tuesday, UberMedia raised $17.5 million in a funding round led by Accel Partners. The rumor is that they are close to acquiring TweetDeck, another popular Twitter client. TweetDeck is my favorite app; if UberMedia buys them, I’ll go shopping for something else.

More On The Data

Note that these data relate to traffic, not people. Many people use multiple tools to access Twitter. The chart and data are from TwitterSource, which uses a 5 percent random sample of publicly posted messages, the Twitter streaming API’s sample resource. “Last day” technically is the preceding 24 hours (data accessed at 2.19 pm Pacific).

How People Read Tweets

How People Read Tweets via TwitterSource "Last Day"

* Because Twidroyd accounts for 0.8% of traffic, Twitter actually blocked about 8% of its customer base.

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