Twitter has realized that mobile is the place to be and has been pushing out mobile clients to all the major platforms over the course of this year. Twitter launched its Twitter for BlackBerry app as a private beta in February and rolled out the official app in July. Unlike the other mobile platforms which were developed by Twitter independently (Android) or via acquisition (iPhone), the Twitter for BlackBerry app was developed in conjunction with RIM. Soon there after, Twitter took on the Android powerhouses of Twydroid and Seesmic when it launched the official Twitter for Android back in April of this year. Last but not least, it acquired Tweetie and rolled out the official Twitter for iPhone in May.
With official apps in place on Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, Twitter has been able to track mobile client usage on these three major platforms. Mobile usage is skyrocketing with a 62% increase in the number of mobile users since mid-April. This impressive figure is no doubt the result of the official app (and other third-party apps) hitting the Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone OS platforms during this five month timeframe. These mobile apps are also being used to bring in new users- over 16% of new users now access Twitter for the first time through a mobile client. This is a three-fold increase from the mere 5% that signed up via mobile client before the official apps hit the market.
Once users get hooked on Twitter, they can not help themselves and over 46% of active users use a mobile client and tweet on a regular basis from their phone. Interestingly enough, Twitter reports that the two most popular mobile clients are Twitter for iPhone (8%) and Twitter for BlackBerry (7%) which outrank even the popular mobile/desktop clients like Tweetdeck and Echofon.
Twitter for Android is noticeably absent and its absence, though confirmed not to be an oversight, is not explained. It is possible that the issue of Android fragmentation is taking its toll on the Android version as Twitter for Android only works on handsets running Eclair (2.1) or Froyo (2.2). A lot of Android handsets in the wild are running the older android 1.6 and would be exempt from this analysis. Equally likely, the official app may see a low adoption rate on Google’s mobile platform with users preferring the popular Twydroid or Tweetcaster which appear directly underneath the Twitter app when a user searches the Market for the term “Twitter”.
Though smartphone usage is on the rise, it is still eclipsed by SMS (8%), twitter’s mobile site (14%), and twitter.com (78%). While this is Twitter’s take on its usage, I want to hear from the masses. Do you use the official app on your handset and, if so, which platform? If you have not adopted the official twitter app, chime in and let everyone know the identity of your favorite alternative client.