Two-thirds of sports Twitter accounts are now inactive

0

Twitter’s slide into obscurity continues to gather pace amongst sports administrators around the country with two-thirds of sampled state organisation accounts now inactive.

In a follow-up to our December 2022 analysis Is Twitter Toast we re-visit Twitter usage and Tweet volumes with no improvement in sight for the platform.

Where is Twitter heading?

Notes:

  • Total number of posts published on Twitter Sep-21 to Apr-23 (20 months).
  • Sample 520 Inter/national team, league, major event and venue, national and state sports administrators.

As the country emerged from Covid restrictions during Q4, 2021 there was a steady increase in Tweets published across the sector. Tweets peaked Mar-22 inline with the start of the winter sports season (eg. AFL, NRL, Hockey) and conclusion of the summer season (eg. Cricket, Athletics, Swimming).

A strong Apr-22 result may be due in part to the Football World Cup with the Commonwealth Games held in July-August. Following Elon Musk’s “enforced” commitment to purchase Twitter in March the sale closed October.

From a Mar-22 peak, Tweets published continued to trend downwards through Feb-23. The annual highs of March and Apr-22 were not repeated to the same level in ‘23 with Tweets down 18% and 16% respectively.

Assessment

Twitter is reliant on high volumes of fast-moving content, something that was lacking across the sector during the Covid lockdowns of Q3-4, 2021.

With a return to “normal” sports calendars in 2022 Tweet rates did increase to a Mar-22 peak but have not been sustained into ‘23.

Teams and Leagues maintain the faith….. Kind of!

Notes:

  • Sample Tweets published Sep-21 to Apr-23 (20 months).
  • 165 Inter/national teams and national league administrators analysed.
  • Percentage of sample who did not publish any Tweets during a given month.
  • Percentage of sample who posted at least 1-Tweet per day (30+ for month).

Inter/national teams and leagues that posted at least 1 Tweet per-day has remained largely unchanged over the last 20 months at an average of 43% with a low of 37% (Oct-21) to a high of 46% (October and Nov-22).

The percentage of Inter/national teams and leagues that didn’t post on Twitter at all during a given month remained steady at an average of 15% with a low of 12% (Mar-22) to a high of 19% (Jan-23).

While Twitter usage rates remain static the overall Tweet volumes are dropping. Down 14% from Jan-Apr 2023 compared to the same period for ‘22.

Assessment

Both teams and leagues thrive on high volumes of fast-moving content. Combined with their symbiotic relationship with mainstream media (where it remains popular amongst journalists) it’s no surprise that the number of active accounts remains relatively high.

While little has changed in terms of usage rates the volume of Tweets is on the decline suggesting less relevance and likely diversion of resources to other platforms (eg. TikTok).

National sports Twitter usage is tanking

Notes:

  • Tweet sample period Sep-21 to Apr-23 (20 months).
  • 71 National sports administrators analysed.
  • Percentage of National sports who did not publish any Tweets during a given month.

Inactive Twitter accounts amongst national sports has increased from 28% in Sep-21 to 42% in Apr-23 (up 14%).

National sports publishing more than 1 Tweet per-day remains largely unchanged from 10% in Sep-21 to 9% in Apr-23 (High; 12% / Low; 8%).

As with teams and leagues, the total volume of Tweets published is falling. Down 20% from Jan-Apr 2023 compared to the same period for ‘22.

Assessment  

Inactive Twitter accounts amongst national sports are steadily increasing while the overall volume of Tweets published is declining.

Already a distant third to Instagram for fan engagement, in several key metrics Twitter has now slipped to fourth against TikTok.

Two-Thirds of State sports now have inactive Twitter accounts

Notes:

  • Tweet sample period Sep-21 to Apr-23 (20 months).
  • 234 State sports administrators analysed.
  • Percentage of State sports who did not publish any Tweets during a given month.

Inactive state sport Twitter accounts has increased from 51% in Sep-21 to a whopping 66% in Apr-23 (up 15%).

State sports publishing more than 1 Tweet per-day has dropped from 14% in Sep-21 to 11% in Apr-23 (High; 17% / Low; 5%).

Total volume of Tweets published is falling but interestingly by not as much as national sports. Down 7% from Jan-Apr 2023 compared to the same period for ‘22.

Assessment 

The number of inactive Twitter accounts tracked amongst state sports has now reached two-thirds.

A decline in Twitter usage by state sports was further accelerated by Covid related disruptions with it becoming less and less relevant to this segment of the industry each month.

With usage having reached what we believe is a death-spiral tipping-point of just 33%, fan engagement levels no longer warrant continued investment for most sports with scarce resources being diverted to Instagram and increasingly TikTok.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here