Twitter acknowledges 23m active users are actually bots

The figure counts for 8.5% of social media site's total user base
Twitter acknowledges 23m active users are actually bots
According to Twitter, the ease of use, or lack of ease, for new users trying the service is something they need to address. (Getty Images)
By Helen Gaskell
Thu 14 Aug 2014 12:12 PM

Bots, or automated accounts, make up 23 million of Twitter's 271 million active users, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The bots, which are programmed to send out tweets at particular times of the day or when something specific happens, represent 8.5 percent of the total user base and Twitter also acknowledged that another five percent are spam bots.

The filing said: "Up to approximately 8.5 percent" of the accounts it considers active are automatically updated "without any discernible additional user-initiated action."

Prior to the bot figure news, Twitter had come under scrutiny regarding the definition of "active user" in its reporting figures as statistics showed that while new users were joining the micro blogging site, many of them hadn't actually used the service in months or at all after initially signing up.

According to Twitter, the ease of use, or lack of ease, for new users trying the service is something they need to address.

"The goal ahead is to try and simplify tweeting and help users understand how best to use the service," Twitter said.

Some reports claim Twitter is considering getting rid of hashtags and the @ symbol as people find the two confusing.

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