[Image by Digital Surgeons, full-size image here]
After the publication of Digital Surgeons' Facebook versus Twitter infographic this week, it got quickly republished everywhere, and ReTweeted. Currently, the words "facebook twitter infographic" still get 4.2 tweets per minute
Pretty huge hey? GigaOm, TheNextWeb and ZDNet are a few of those who republished the nice and shiny graphic- apparently called infographic these days
What's wrong with that? The fact that nobody pays close attention to the data in it - none of the above either. And when mentioning it on Twitter, the first reactions I got were from people trying to interpret the data in some unnatural way - trying to talk straight what is crooked, it almost seems
Opposites attract, they say. But is content the opposite of presentation?
Well, are beautiful women smart? Handsome man always in possession of a small ego? Nerdy and geeky adolescents free from zits and bad eyesight? Usually, pretty pictures convey a lack of content - and this one tops it off like none ever before
A picture says more than a thousand words, they say too - but if you're trying to say that much in one tiny image, it better be a consistent story - unlike the one this one tells me
Other than the vague terms like "being aware of", "follow a brand", there is some interesting data and really wrong data in the picture. It is in interesting to see that of the 41% of the Facebook users, 75% of which logs in daily via mobile, only 30% does a daily update - the rest doesn't. And with only 150 million located inside the US, more than double is now non-US
Of course, with 60% of Twitter users also outside of the US, it is of very little value to do a dollargraphic.But all that aside, where does the data come from that underlies this great, sexy graphic that has made such a great impression that it just gets ReTweeted and reblogged on sight?
I traced all the sources at the very bottom of the picture:
- http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/10/technology/twitter_users_active/ is a flimsy article on CNN that doesn't say anything other than that
only 21% of Twitter account holders were (...) "true users," meaning someone who has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and has tweeted at least 10 times
- http://www.slideshare.net/EmergenceMedia/facebook-demographics-user-statistics-emergence-media leads to a slideshare presentation made 4 years ago, with comments questioning its accuracy already back then
- http://cheatedbylife.com/2010/05/08/twitter-facts-figures-infographic leads me to an unused site with ads for dating. I checked, rechecked and double-re-checked the URL, but there's simply nothing there
- http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/survey_brands_making_big_impact_on_facebook_twitter.php leads to an article on RWW that's over a year old - that's the first link out of four that is not entirely useless upon encounter. What's the data they get out of that article? The brand-following for both Facebook (40%) and Twitter (25%) - and that's it
- https://www.google.com/adplanner/planning/site_profile#siteDetails?identifier=facebook.com&geo=001&trait_type=1&lp=true leads to a Google doubleclick page showing unique visitors for Facebook. I'm pretty good at graphs and numbers, but it's unclear how the data on this page relates to the infographic
So, I'm guessing that all the rest of the data is just made up. Well, at least some of that appears that way, so it seems to be not far from the truth:
How about the Twitter data? 27% logs in every day, yet almost double that, 52%, manages to update their status every day! Simply amazing, isn't it? Not logged in, yet able to update. Magic!
Education-wise, 48% is in College (and 7% in High School), yet only 47% is below the age of 35 - that would mean that everyone under the age of 35 is in College, and a bit more than that as well, or that there are an awful lot of people who are following a College education on the side
Update 21st December 1:20 CET: I hereby coin the term Infocrappic: a tempting visual presenting outdated, non-existent or unsubstantiated data
My conclusion? Nice visual, but this is a serious piece of extremely highly unreliable info - that shouldn't be ReTweeted at all