With the Twitter IPO moving at an incredibly fast pace (it could be done by Thanksgiving), I feel like it is a a good idea to remind everyone that the network still has a lot of growing to do. Remember, it only passed 200 million active users at the end of last year. Compare that to Facebook's 1.2 billion or so users, and Twitter has a long road ahead before it can get to that same reach.
So that begs the question, where does Twitter have the greatest mobile reach right now? It turns out that is in developing nations, including Indonesia, where it reached 64% of iPhone users in August, and Mexico, where it has a 52% reach, according to new data from Onavo Insights released on Thursday.
Don't misunderstand this data: it is not saying that these countries have the most users of the Twitter app; they are, instead, the countries where the app is used by the largest percentage of iPhone users. And that is because they so few mobile users.
In fact, the more iPhone users a country has, the less likely it is for Twitter to be on a large percentage of those phones, Onavo found.
"Twitter has the most reach in developing countries, where mobile usage is sparse; as mobile usage becomes ubiquitous, as in the US and Western Europe, the actual number of Twitter users increases, but is a smaller proportion of the overall mobile population," Onavo wrote.
The countries where Twitter had the lowest reach: Australia, with 15%; South Korea, with 11%; and Germany, with a mere 8% of iPhone users downloading the Twitter app. The United States fell where in the middle, with a 36% reach.
This would seem to be a bad sign for Twitter; it needs to be able to gain a greater penetration in the larger markets if it ever wants to be in the same league as its rivals.
Elsewhere in the report, Onavo also took a look at how the different network break down by age. There there was both good news and bad news for Twitter.
First the good news: Twitter and Vine, its video recording app, both skew younger than both Facebook and LinkedIn.
Facebook is remarkably balanced across all agre groups, with nearly the same number of users in the 18 to 20 range as the over 65 range.
has been able to maintain a balanced demographics across its customer base, with some slight skew toward the younger demographic. LinkedIn, as you'd expect, bulges in the middle, peaking with the 45-54 crowd, while the 18-20 year olds seems to be staying away, though we will have to see if any of its recent efforts to hook young people do any good in that regard.
Meanwhile, Twitter and Vine skew remarkably younger, especially Vine. That bodes well for Twitter going forward, especially compared to Facebook which has been dogged by reports of teens dropping their accounts.
But here's the bad news: Vine does not really help Twitter very much when it comes to getting new users.
Vine's reach in the United States is 17%, but, when combined with Twitter, they only reach 42%, a 6% gain. Why? Because of how many users overlap; a huge percentage of Vine users also have the Twitter app, so it does not give Twitter a larger reach.
(Image source: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com)