Twitter VS. Xbox One
This article is meant to be purely analytic. Its purpose it to provide the numbers and for you to draw your own conclusions.
By now, I'm sure everybody is familiar with the Xbox One and the troubles that Microsoft has had in putting it and its policies in a positive light. After weeks of being beaten up in the social media realm, primarily Reddit and Twitter, Microsoft decided to reexamine its position on its controversial policies. The question now is, should they have?
We are not looking at the merits of any of the changed policies here. This article is intended to examine the actual scope that social media encompasses. Should companies decide policies based upon the outcry of these websites? Or, are places like Twitter simply the vocal minority drowning out the rest of the discussion? Let's find out.
Social Media By the Numbers:
Twitter seems to be the largest impetus for corporate concerns. Media and marketing is always worried about what's "trending." It is seen as a barometer of public opinion.
Twitter boasts over 500 million registered users of their service, 200 million of which are active accounts. (source)
For being so highly regarded in this country, Twitter has a surprisingly low install base.
Comparatively, the Xbox 360 sold a total of 78.05 million units worldwide, while selling 44.33 million units here in America. (source) For the sake of time, let's just assume that 100% of American Twitter users own a Xbox 360. This will let us see the maximum scope of influence of the site. This would mean that Twitter users account for 51.6% of all US sales of the Xbox 360 and 29.3% of total sales. Keep in mind that it is very unlikely that 100% of US Twitter users own a Xbox 360 and the sales figures for the console do not take into account the number of people who have purchased multiple new consoles, nor the number of people that have purchased their consoles pre-owned.
Now the important numbers, which are a little more complicated to digest. The all important statistic that all companies are interested in is "trending." Or, how many people are talking about your product at any given time. At its simplest, the more people that talk about something, the more it is "trending." What does it take to make something trend? Surprisingly, not a lot.
Between 12 (midnight) to 6am: approximately 1200 tweets and about 500 users to be considered a Trend
Between 6am to 12pm: 1700 tweets and about 733 users
Between 12pm to 6 pm: 1500 tweets and about 812 users
Between 6pm to 12am: 1900 tweets and about 922 users
These numbers aren't just for the US Twitter users, but for the entirety of the Twitter verse--with things like geographical location being factored into the equation. Without breaking down the percentages, that is a rather small number for how much reverence "trending" topics get.
Now, more specifically, how does the Twitter demographic match up the with the video game demographic?
Over 55% of Twitter users are older than 35. Specifically, the average Twitter user is 37.3 years old. (source) Even more specifically, the average Twitter user is a 28 year old female... who wears purple. (source)
The average age of a person who plays video games is 30 years old and has been playing video games for at least 13 years. Furthermore, the average age of those who purchase video games the most often is 35 years old. These statistics can be misleading when talking about consoles specifically, 36% of gamers play games on their smartphone, and 25% play games on their wireless device. Purchases of digital content, including games, add-on content, mobile apps, subscriptions, and social networking games, accounted for 40 percent of game sales in 2012. (source)
Does Twitter deserve the power that it holds? That is not for me to decide. My goal here was only to arm you with the knowledge you need to make that determination for yourself.