The Post Frequency Rule

The frequency of posts in a service is inversely proportional to the size of the post. Said another way, the longer the post, the less frequently they will happen.

Take a look at stats from the three largest "default public" social media services:

WordPress – 430k posts per day

Tumblr – 31.8mm posts per day

Twitter – 140mm posts per day (march 2011)

Of course, these numbers are also impacted by the number of total accounts and active accounts on the system. None of the three companies post those numbers publicly. Based on the numbers I've seen, the ratio of monthly active accounts to total accounts is also highly correlated to the the size of the post. The shorter the required post in a service, the higher percent of total users will be active on it.

If you want to understand the power of Tumblr and Twitter, you need to look at how quick and how easy it is to post. There are of course many other factors at work, but brevity and ease is a big part of why these services work so well.


Comments (Archived):

  1. RichardF

    and probably Disqus comments…

    1. fredwilson

      i should have put disqus in there. they would sit between wordpress and tumblr i think

      1. RichardF

        it’d be interesting to see the number

      2. Alexandros Pappas

        what about facebook status updates per day? I guess the length of such posts would be similar to the twitter length, so we could compare and perhaps derive a few interesting conclusions

        1. fredwilson

          but they aren’t public by default so they have less “fanout”

        2. William Mougayar

          Could add LinkedIn posts as well in the same brush. But we should really exclude the duplicates that are re-posts of others original stuff.

      3. Fernando Gutierrez

        I would have said that a comment requieres less thinking than a post at Tumblr, but then I think about some comments here and I’m not so sure… Because it allows so many different usages Tumblr is so different to anything else that it’s quite difficult to compare.BTW, does that tumblr number include likes and reblogs?

        1. fredwilson

          def not likesnot sure about reblogs

  2. LIAD

    Posts aren’t all created equal.Easy come, easy go.(Tumblr’s 32mm p/d is waaaay more impressive than Twitter’s 140mm)

    1. Dan Lewis

      Totally disagree here.A lot of Tumblr’s posts are functionally retweets with little if any added content or context.  That’s not to say they’re less important to the reblogger, but there is less actual content being *created* than you’d think.  

      1. LIAD

        Sure, but the quantum is still huge. Even if just 10% are original content – it’s still 10x wordpress.I am sure pound for pound there are far more automated tweets on twitter (bots/retweets/auto-rss feeds etc) than there are reblogs on tumblr

  3. Jan Schultink

    This Tumblr number is impressive.

  4. Louis D

    It would be interesting to calculate the WORDS per DAY 

  5. Carl Rahn Griffith

    I wonder what the ‘quality’ of posts ratio is…?  😉

    1. fredwilson

      quality is subjectivei call this quality!/mcuba…i call this qualityhttp://idrawpictures.tumblr…i call this quality…others might think all of that is trivial nonsenseto each his or her own

  6. awaldstein

    Interesting…but I think this goes beyond the length factor alone Fred.WordPress is a platform for language expression. We write on WordPress in our native language using standard grammar systems.Twitter and Tumblr are a vernacular of sorts in themselves. I was thinking about #hashtags yesterday and realized that Twitter is a language system growing on itself. Unique. Universal. Immediate. And organic. Tumblr (and maybe Canvas some day) is like a hybrid cuneiiform for expression as well.I think that in the global uni-language environment of the social web, there will be a series of these expression platforms that capture the intersection of simplicity and context together. New power initiated by constraints and simplification.Disqus is yet another permutation of this. It’s uni-structure of sorts but not certain where it fits in a phrase yet.I’m asking for a lot of poetic license here I know.

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      We should also factor in the number of spam/bot postings a medium suffers from – we are all familiar with the proliferation of spam/bots on Twitter (and Facebook to a lesser extent, nowadays). Tumblr seems pretty immune to it – although I still don’t really ‘get’ Tumblr, frankly – I prefer the ‘Fancy’ approach; different strokes for different folks, for sure, but Fancy has a very clear monetisation opportunity. Would like to know more about them – anyone more familiar with the company background/vision?On the spam/bots front, I wonder what load/volume they impose of (eg) Twitter?Anyway, I digress.

      1. awaldstein

        Don’t know about the spam figures.But…this discussion and the one on Canvas the other day make me realize that these languages like Twitter and Tumblr are iconic and hieroglyphic somewhat at their core. No wonder I’m drawn to Haring and Lichtenstein and Chuck Close as my artists of choice. Keep playing with Tumblr. Kinda like Tumblr-as-a-second-language for you. I know you are a native tweeter and you will cross over.

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Thanks, Arnold – maybe I need to move away from my Hopper mode…

    2. Dan Lewis

      I came to say something similar, actually.  I’m giving an internal corporate presentation on (among other things) Tumblr and it’s very hard to explain.  It’s a blogging platform with Twitter-like sharing/following tools.  But… it’s very image-heavy, which isn’t typical of blogs.Imagine that you don’t really know much about the digital media ecosystems out there. That last sentence all of a sudden makes no sense whatsoever.  If it’s a blogging platform, why are images the majority of the content?There is no great answer either, other than “it is what it is.”  My working theory is that as the number of posts in one’s dashboard increase, the time to digest content in each post decreases, and images take less time than text and video in that regard.  So images get more attention, as signified by the “notes” count.  And that incentivizes others to learn toward images, as they want more people interacting with their content. It’s a fortuitous cycle, I guess.In any event, the platform can certainly force its own cuinform onto the content, via the ecosystem that the platform supports.  Maybe “can” is too weak a word, even; perhaps it should be “will.”

      1. awaldstein

        Glad to see ‘cuneiform’ surface twice in a sentence this morning.I spend a lot of time talking to wineries and wine bloggers on the side. I suggest two formats–Disqus and Tumblr.Many choose Disqus because ‘it just works’ but unless they are social themselves or have a dynamic commenting community they don’t get its power.But Tumblr for the vineyard is a dream format. Winemakers are farmers but they (and often their kids) get the idea of a series of continuous pictures with comments as a ongoing sharing medium where me in New York can see what is going on in the vineyard somewhere down some dirt road in Europe. Still slow adoption but it’s starting.These formats though are easier to show and harder to explain for certain.

      2. fredwilson

        if you look at the post window in the dashboard, you see that longform textis treated with the same amount of attention in the UI as images, videos,quotes, linksthe UI drives this behavior to a degree but so does the community

        1. Dan Lewis

          Right, it’s a function of the ecosystem, not the platform.

    3. David Semeria

      Great insights Arnold.A big issue that needs fixing is the spoken language barrier. To US readers this may sound strange, but in Europe there are as many languages as countries (Switzerland has three official ones! )European Twitter users tend to aggregate around their preferred language. This is a pity. I don’t speak German, but I’m sure there are many German tweeps who could create value for me, for example.Wouldn’t it be cool if someone could invent some sort of mechanism which allows people to interact across the language barrier?Food for thought…

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks David.I get reminded often by my European friends that there is a different reality in Europe and that maybe the world that I experience in NYC isn’t the global norm. I deserve that kick often.But…you are onto something.There will be specific platforms that are a uni-language in themselves and connect diversity of culture through a simple format and a focused goal.This ties really well into Fred’s discussion. Simplicity and focus can broaden not narrow the usage and the audience. Non-trivial to get right; powerful when you do though.

      2. Fernando Gutierrez

        That’s a huge issue. A few days ago there was a discussion at HackerNews about multiples identities on the internet that also included thelanguages problem.…Some propossed separated accounts, but that doesn’t work (I’ve triedit) because some people would belong to several accounts. Mixingdoesn’t either because you piss off those who don’t undertand.

        1. David Semeria

          Wow, that’s an excellent discussion Fernando – very useful.Thanks very much!

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            My pleasure. This is a space really interesting for anyone with more than one interest, but for those of us who live multilingual lifes it’s a pressing need.

        2. ShanaC

          Thank you for mentioning this.  I think the largest gift and problem of the interent is the “we live in in public’ problem – you become much more of yourself in public, and with that, you end up mixing different behaviors and groups and parts of yourself than you would have otherwise due to the “flattening of identity”I think this is a huge cultural shift in what we see as normal human behavior (and its variations). It is a huge change, kind of like the 60s, and we not done working through it.

      3. fredwilson

        imageboards like canvas are multicultural because they don’t require atraditional languagei follow a bunch of japanese tumbloggers who post amazing images and anime

        1. David Semeria

          I think image boards are a step in the right direction Fred.But most of the Canvas images have text on them.I think this is a fascinating area – and the prospect of letting people from all over the world interact without language barriers is a really cool goal.I’m working on something in this space…

          1. fredwilson

            i’d love to see it when you are ready to show it

          2. David Semeria

            You’ll need bodyguards to stop me!

          3. Carl Rahn Griffith


        2. David Semeria

          I’m writing this after coming off 14 straight hours on – that site is addictive!Music (in its purest form, where vocals are also viewed as an instrument) transcends language. A good song is a good song wherever you live.They’ve done something special here. I was in rooms with people from all over the world. The music was the glue..The last piece of the puzzle would be to automatically translate the comment stream (very active in many rooms)  into your native language. It would be so cool to tell some Japanese DJ their remix track reminds me of the underground sounds I was hearing as a kid in Liverpool in the eighties.This is going to be huge.Hats off to them, and it’s a great pity Google is shutting down its translation API…. but perhaps that will create an opportunity for someone else to step into the gap…

        3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      4. Carl Rahn Griffith

        That’s one reason why I often run Chrome in parallel to Safari on my desktop, so I can switch languages easily if a foreign language Twitter stream I see has some keywords that look interesting. Not ideal solution, but helps – and has surfaced some great foreign language Tweets/contacts for me.

        1. David Semeria

          What do you mean by switching languages Carl?Automatic translation?

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Yes, the translate option when in Chrome – it is pretty good.

          2. David Semeria

            That’s an interesting approach Carl.Works well if you’re only interested in a few languages.Long time no speak, hope you’re well…

          3. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Becomes quite seamless after a while – and is certainly better than nothing,Not too bad, thanks, David – let’s synch-up on Skype sometime soon – hope all is well with you.Cheers!Carl

      5. Fernando Gutierrez

        Off topic, but related to languages and content… I recently started contributing to Kahn Academy’s content translation effort. A lot of help is needed, so if anyone is interested check this:…Sorry por the pitch, but I think it’s worth it.

      6. RichardF

         das wäre toll!

    4. fredwilson

      cunieform is the world of the day on AVCi love the analogy, particularly for canvas 

      1. Dave Goldberg

        The idea of cross-cultural canvasses, and an emergent cuneiform remind me of some of the concepts that Marshal McLuhan talked about. There’s really too much to cover in a short comment reply, but my (jaw dropping) takeaway from his insights is that he accurately predicted the move to a less “literate” society and more of an immersive culture where we experience and interact with many different media in real-time.His Playboy interview is really a very fascinating read if you have the time.

    5. ShanaC

      but hashtags rely on english in the end. (or a language).  it is the ironic use of language, if anything

  7. JimHirshfield

    Facebook? Email? IM? These would be interesting as well. Hey – Nice piece in the Journal yesterday on the fam. You selling the movie rights?

    1. fredwilson

      i wish i could have buried that piece. there is a tension between privacyand attention and if it were my call, i’d have opted for privacy in thatcase.

      1. JimHirshfield

        I don’t think there was anything in there that wasn’t known to those that read this blog and thegothamgal’s blog.I also got the impression of 100% complicity on everyone’s part – well, at least you and Joanne – from reading it.

        1. fredwilson

          i complied after caving in when it was clear i was the only family memberopposed to the idea

          1. ShanaC

            Fred- good for you.  My family also leans towards lost of techie stuff,m that doesn’t mean my entire family life is public.  This should be like going to a church or synagogue – you see some family dynamics on a regular basis, but never all of it, and the rest isn’t your business.

  8. Fernando Gutierrez

    But when things get too easy we post a lot things without any previous filter or thought (I’m not talking about Weiner). The average quality of a wordpress/any-other-full-blogging-platform post is huge in comparison with other networks. And I guess that causes also a a higher read to audience ratio. Or maybe not, because the effort needed is also higher.

    1. JimHirshfield

      “But when things get too easy we post a lot things without any previous filter…” – your comment excepted. ;-)Seriously, tho…I don’t think the quality or quantity of readers of a given post correlates to the post’s length. Is that what you’re saying? Or am I not reading you correctly? (thereby proving my theory).

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        That’s more or less what I was trying to say, at least in relation with number or readers, but when I read my comment I see I didn’t do a great job explaining (my fault, blame my English!).I believe that the percentage of readers exposed to a blog post that actually read/scan it is higher than that same ratio in twitter. In twitter, even if you try to limit how many people you follow, you get so much updates that most are completely ignored. Also, blog post live forever meanwhile tweets die very young, so no new readers after a few hours.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Got it.

    2. fredwilson

      that’s why we need filters and curation. we want more posts and more filters

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        Foursquare is gonna get jealous of the new young brother in the family if you say you love them more! 🙂

  9. Dave W Baldwin

    A young lady named Danielle in CA said it best re Twitter, the 140 character representing a text message.The main lesson above is not defending whichever company of today, but realize that the style of communication is changing.  Personally, I’m glad because talking of it 2-3 years back had most thinking I’m nuts.Longer opines will need flexibility where they can be torn apart, for there may be something of relevence to one group in paragraph two vs. another group in paragraph four. Of course, that sets the race to where the right product can:1) understand the audience member quickest    a) match the key idea/phrase2) take the AM to that phrase.3) and so on…..

  10. heuristocrat

    I’m not sure what we are talking about here?  There are more sentences written every day than paragraphs, more paragraphs than chapters and more chapters than books.It is certainly easier to express something in twitter or tumbler if it’s short. WordPress posts of value take a fair amount of work. (many are even proofed and edited)I think about it more from the flip side which is where do I spend more time finding and using good content. This seems to be on blog posts by far. I discover and share lots of things on Twitter but in many cases they are links to longer blog posts which is where the real value is.I know there’s been a debate lately about the fate of “long form content” over short messages but I’m not sure this fits into that conversation or not.

    1. Nick Grossman

      Though that assumes that every tweet or tumblr post would have made it into a longer form blog post eventually. For me, the act of tumbling or tweeting helps prime and process ideas. So, at least in my case, the fact that I can express ideas in short form via twitter and tumblr actually often results in longer form blog posts that I wouldn’t have been able to put together otherwise.I guess that’s not really addressing your point — totally agree that much of what I use twitter for (and tumblr to a significant degree) is discovering longer blog content.

      1. heuristocrat

        That’s actually a very interesting point Nick. I think there are a bunch of techniques that we try and use to capture smaller elements of what may eventually be a long-form thought. I’ve tried many including Tumblr but so far haven’t got anything that works well. I’ve tried things like Pinboard and Amplify but they haven’t quite done the trick. What I kind of wish for is “magnetic virtual buckets” that would let me put small things into different buckets. If the bucket looks full and/or interesting and I’m in the mood it would then be easy to turn it into something.  I know I could use tags or some system but it’s got to flow. When I use Tumblr for intermediate thoughts they don’t stay on my radar for further development. If there is any empathy out there and a solution to try I’m open!

        1. Nick Grossman

          I know what you mean!  It sounds like what you’re looking for is an “open commonplace book”.  Here’s my take on that idea:…I know a few people who are working on building something like this.

    2. Guest

      I’m with you. I don’t understand the point of this post.  As you allude to, it’s like saying if you want to understand the importance of newspapers you need to know that they’re published more frequently than books. It’s a true important quality I guess, but I don’t think it’s the most important quality.  Plus, it seems so non-subtle that it’s not worth saying. Moreover, and worse, it seems like an unnecessary jab at books (and, of course, WordPress in the post). I also find it curios to say that to understand the importance of Twitter and Tumblr you must take them in context with WordPress. Can this really be true? Is one not able to understand the importance with Twitter without having knowledge or an understanding of WordPress? Does Twitter have no importance independent of WordPress? I don’t get that.  Seems like unnecessary rivalry-baiting.

  11. Joseph Flaherty

    Instagram helps prove this point, with 5MM users and 100MM+ total photos just months after launch. Similar to Tumblr, if you can contribute by sharing images it becomes much easier to participate. Like you’ve said about Facebook, a huge amount of growth can occur if you facilitate photo sharing.

  12. Christian Brucculeri

    I’ve never considered WordPress to be a network, it’s more of a CMS for consumer media.  It’s not social media, by the modern definition.I think the network effect  plays a big role in post frequency.

    1. awaldstein

      Well said. But add Disqus to WP and the paradigm changes.

      1. Christian Brucculeri

        Disqus doesn’t drive traffic, it lends social media characteristics to the comments section.I think AVC would see the same post frequency and traffic with or without Disqus.

        1. awaldstein

          Disagree Christian.Disqus is a community platform not simply a commenting system. Community dynamics engender growth, traffic and social spread.I wrote this post ( ) in ’09 just after I installed Disqus. It explains my point of view on the community dynamics I’m referring to. Believe it moreso today.

        2. RichardF

          I agree with you Christian that Disqus doesn’t do nearly enough to directly drive traffic to a site. However as Arnold has already said the addition of Disqus to a blog is a great community enhancing tool that helps to attract repeat visitors.

          1. awaldstein

            Engagement is the end goal of traffic in almost every circumstance.We agree there probably. But I also think that engagement drives more traffic as comments are the key content that attracts more than the post itself.Certainly though Disqus has some work to do on the SEO side.  I’ve pushed them on this.

          2. RichardF

            I agree with you 100% Arnold.  I just think they could do more on the discovery side to drive people to blogs that have Disqus installed. 

          3. awaldstein

            Richard…re: your comment below on discovery.Couldn’t agree more. Disqus with millions of active commenters is growing the most contextual implicit graph on the web today.

          4. Christian Brucculeri

            To clarify, I am not claiming that Disqus doesn’t offer tremendous value. It’s a brilliant idea and a great execution and I think it’s a very valuable business.  It’s just not a social network IMO. For Tumblr and Twitter, I access streams of content through clients or on the web.  I went to to register, but my use of the service is dependent on whether or not the blog I’m reading has it.  I don’t use Disqus as a network to follow or connect with anyone and I think (maybe mistakenly) I’m the rule, not the exception.

          5. Aaron Klein

            I don’t use Disqus as a social network either but it definitely drives traffic via discovery. I can’t tell you how many of my blog’s readers I can trace back to other blogs where I commented using Disqus (this blog included).Once discovered, it’s clear they subscribe via twitter, RSS or some other way, but the initial discovery is all Disqus.

        3. fredwilson

          it does drive traffic, but it doesn’t get a lot of credit for itthey are working on fixing that

          1. ShanaC

            I’m not surprised.  People want to be where the party is at (most of the time).  I’m actually really curious to see what kind of engagement – like do sponsored posts on Refinery29 (they use disqus and use the sponsor post idea) have more brand engagement.

          2. randomlobster

            A feature suggestion which probably only appeals to me.Across the internet I find comments which are humorous enough to dedicate an entire blog post to, and some that are insightful enough to be voted to the top on Quora. Something to storify or repost them, and to hook this into other social networks can be pretty cool. Sort of like the facebook Like button for every opinionated comment you read and agree with. It too is your identity.

          3. fredwilson

            i’ve wanted that since day one. some of my feature requests make it into the product. others do not.

        4. William Mougayar

          It drives traffic by the fact that commenters tick off the Twitter box. 

          1. fredwilson

            yeah, but twitter gets credit for that, not disqus.disqus needs to figure out how to quantify and get credit for all the traffic they drive

          2. Christian Brucculeri

            …and as you’ve mentioned, if a users sees the link in a Twitter application and clicks through, the refer credit goes to “direct traffic” on a Google Analytics dashboard and they both miss it.

          3. William Mougayar

            Agreed. Disqus’ best days are ahead of them. I hope they start showing someteeth in the market, given their strong foundation.

      2. Fernando Gutierrez

        Or consider blogs. With it’s comments system ou can alsoget notified of comments by email an even of posts in the sites youselect (I’d love that in Disqus).

        1. awaldstein

          We get notified by Disqus via email of comment strings we follow, participate in or on our own posts. But true, I can subscribe to a person but I dont think a blog through Disqus. I usually just subscribe to the blog itself.

          1. Fernando Gutierrez

            Usually I just subscribe to the rss also. That’s fine for most sites.But not for sites turned communities like this one. I want an alertwhen the discussion starts (blog post published) so I can decide if Igo in. An email is a great alert (I think Fred wrote about thatrecently) and you can subscribe to by email, but it’s a fixedtime of the date email, so when you read the post most of the fun isalready over.

          2. awaldstein

            Good point. My blog sends an alert to the email subscribers just past midnight so I try to tweet and post on Facebook if I post earlier.I bet though that there’s a plugin that will let me email to the lists on posting.For avc when not on the road, I feed Sam (my cat), turn on the La Pavoni expresso machine and check my favorite communities early.

          3. William Mougayar

            Side point for @disqus:twitter The wacky formatting happens when you post a reply from Gmail, right? I’ve seen that before. It only appeared in the past 2-3 weeks. Can they fix it?

          4. Fernando Gutierrez

            Yeah, but it has always happened. Not sure about it, but I think that itonly occurs when Gmail is set to send messages in plain text. Whenconfigured like that Gmail seems to break lines at around 65-70 characterswhen sending messages.This one is being sent from Gmail with rich formatting, so if it gets thoseweird line breaks forget my previous paragraph.

    2. Nick Grossman

      That’s a big part of it, for sure, but even without the social side, tumblr makes “traditional” blogging super easy by breaking it down into smaller pieces, and even more specifically by making “clipping” and responding to web content so easy via their bookmarklet. Before I really knew about the built in social aspects of tumblr, I loved it loved it for how it gave me a really easy channel through which to react to the web. That’s actually still 90% of how I use it today.

    3. fredwilson

      good point

  13. CliffElam

    Or as my grandmother used to say: the more people talk the less you have to listen.-XC

  14. William Mougayar

    What this shows is we like to produce and consume information in microchunks (Twitter) and appetizers (Tumblr), instead of meal size (WordPress). Disqus would be the salt & pepper or spices. I’m not sure what is dessert- (maybe Canvas, Instagram or Foursquare?)

    1. fredwilson

      great metaphor for social mediai’m voting for canvas for desert but you knew that

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup, Canvas is candy for the eye (like walking into Dylan’s Candy Bar store on 3rd Ave/Lexington).Let Arnold figure out which part is the wine 🙂

        1. awaldstein

          Comments are a bit like natural wine William.The community is the terroir. The individual post is the micro climate that drives the unique taste of each bottling. And things getting really wild when you don’t add any sulphites 😉

          1. William Mougayar

            Well said. All natural and artisan made is the best.Too many comments have given me a hangover…

          2. awaldstein

            Funny…but of course (and this is the wine geek talking) natural wines have less alcohol generally because there is no added sugar.

    2. Way Off the Markj

      No it doesn’t; not even close. Number of posts doesn’t even correlate to a preference to create, let alone coming remotely close to a preference to consume. And Disqus? You’re joking right? 

      1. William Mougayar

        No, I’m not joking re:Disqus. If I was, then your comment would be considered a joke.

    3. ShanaC

      That being said – a meal is tasty.  There are times where I want even longer form content, so I don’t think wordpress is going away so fast

      1. William Mougayar

        I hope no one implied that WordPress/Drupal/Typepad are going away.We’re discussing this on a blog CMS, right?

        1. Himanshu Chanda

          I guess the discussion is not on any blog / cms or software per se. The whole idea is … The simpler it is to post and the shorter.. the faster … the better it is!

        2. ShanaC

          I get the feeling this may be like the tapas/small plate trend – that isstarting to swing back in the other direction towards full plate meals – butno one is claiming tapas are going away…

  15. Chris Sutton

    Interesting — I was under the impression that Tumblr had a higher engagement rate (active users / total) than Twitter. Anybody else surprised by what Fred suggested, or did I just have a mistaken assumption?

    1. fredwilson

      twitter and tumblr have similar active/total numbers

  16. Matthew Peter Aylett

    Interesting to view this as a means of social cohesian. Robert Dunbarin  Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language made the point thatlangugae had an important role in possibly replacing grooming – you canonly groom one other member of your group at a time, saying hi andtalking about the weather is more efficient.Perhaps twitter and other short mediums should be regarded more asgrooming (distilled down in facebook as ‘likes’). So what you see withshort posts is the composer maintaining the twitter following for itsown sake, rather than the process of ‘saying anything much’. Sharedimages and music reinforces this sense of belonging. 

  17. theschnaz

    Is there any data on the total number of posts per day or posts per user for Twitter in regards to retweets?  It would be interesting to see this data over time.  I would expect posts to increase when “RT @username” became popular, then another increase when Twitter integrated retweets into their system.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t have that data. nor do i have the data on tumblr reblogs

  18. William Mougayar

    This is a must see graphic 60 seconds:- 13,000 iphone apps downloaded- 98,000 Tweets- 20,000 new posts on Tumblr (good guess Fred that Twitter is 4-5 X Tumblr)- 13,000 hours of music on Pandora streaming- 600 new YouTube videos uploadedetc…

    1. fredwilson

      cool graphicwhere did that come from?

      1. William Mougayar

        Stamp is from this company landed in my inbox from an internal list.

        1. Robert Thuston

          My two favorites:- 1 new definition added to urban dictionary- 1 new article is published to yahoogood pic image

        2. leigh

          that took me about one second to post to tumblr 🙂

    2. Ryan Frew

      Assuming the graphic is accurate, Facebook status updates and Google search queries are happening at almost exactly the same rate. Can that be possible? To me, that illustrates that the internet, as a population, is equally interested in using the web as a source of information, as well as putting out “info” about themselves. Awesome find. 

  19. kirklove

    I like to call it “Burst Expression”The tools are so good they allow you to do it without having to expend energy on how. It’s almost a reflex really.

  20. Amanda Maksymiw (@amandamaks)

    Does anyone have insight on how many posts are made within LinkedIn Groups or Answers each day?

  21. Adam Besvinick

    Besides brevity and ease of use, I think it’s critical to look at the type of information that is shared on Twitter. 80% of Twitter is link clicking, and it has virtually become an RSS feed. This type of content sharing makes for rapid-fire spreading and viral dissemination. Additionally, Twitter has become a place where people need to make real-time comments. If I comment on Bin Laden’s death even two days after the fact, my comment is passé and will be skimmed over by my followers. Consequently, whenever even the most minor news event happens, tens of thousands of tweets are shared to put some commentary around the occurrence. I think these 2 factors (link sharing and the real-time nature) are what lead to some many tweets – even more so than brevity and ease of use.

  22. Mat Evans

    I suspect there might be an opposite trend in the stats from a content point of view. Large amounts of tweets talk about the same content and there is a larger amount of unique content in the wordpress sites with tumblr hanging around somewhere in the middle as people use it sometimes like twitter and sometimes like wordpress.Twitter becomes somewhat like standard links in that respect, with tumblr becoming like posts and the wordpress contingent becoming like a whole website with respect to the ‘post’ architecture regardless of what is actually posted.In some ways they form their own little internet. Tumblr is the most dynamic of all three looking at it this way as the content is shared as well as produced. Twitter is used as a link for wordpress owners who store their content in posts but the tweets (like links) are the things that spread..Just a different point of view on a friday afternoon 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      it would be interesting to know the percent of tweets that have a link in them. it’s certainly not 100%

      1. Muneeb Ali

        Ha! I was just playing with Twitter’s API and writing a small script that does that. Here are stats for you, Fred. —–User: fredwilsonTotal tweets: 3100Retweets: 64URLs posted: 1754@reply: 821—–The 3100 is what Twitter lets my script fetch. They are selling complete data via Gnip, I think. Anyway, so 56% had URLs, 26% were conversations, and 2% retweets. What’s with the low retweets! 🙂

        1. fredwilson


  23. andrewwatson


    1. andrewwatson

      nobody appreciated my poignant brevity!

      1. Mark Essel


  24. timothysykes

    I’d be curious to see what kind of $ sales each platform drives…I’ve found WordPress is by far the best

  25. Pundit Commentator

    Wow. What have I stumbled into? This conversation is fascinating even though I do not understand some of the jargon. I’m a 11 week old baby blogger (daily posts on Blogspot) and prolific twitter-er and storify-er. I know nothing. 7 weeks ago, I knew less than nothing.  I’m picking it all up as I go and muddling my way around the interwebs (gasp, yes, i said interwebs). I am going to be opening up a Tumblr account tomorrow morning because the good folks at Empire Avenue tell me this is a good platform to store other people’s content. This interests me because I retweet wonderful content every day (100 on a normal day, 600 when Bin Laden dies).  I’m told all of this will boost my share price.  One day, Starbucks will take eaves. I will die happy.

  26. perfy

    This is interesting, but is it a good metric for success?  Wordpress is designed for long-form.  If people were writing long posts at the velocity that they were tweeting, think about how poor quality the writing would be.

  27. Brad Lindenberg

    I think the frictionless ease of posting on Twitter/Tumblr has similar properties to the ease of purchasing an app on the iTunes store with a 1 click buy, which is probably a large contributing factor to the success of Apple’s ecosystem. 

  28. goinmobile

    There’s room for everyone.  Twitter is to USA Today as WordPress is to the New Yorker.  Since I like to write (Tumblr sized chunks) Twitter makes me get to my point.  We are a bang bang content culture.  I worry about long form content monitization, will the new youngbloods not have the patience read and discover the real wisdom of long form?  And will it therefore go away because it won’t have the scale to reach profitable optimization? 

    1. Robert Thuston

      Good analogy.  I enjoy the New Yorker.

  29. paramendra

    I think you are gloating that Tumblr just overtook WordPress. Me too. 🙂

  30. NICCAI

    This rule holds true for most activities online.  Form length and ease of posting would contribute to post frequency.  Tumblr is known for it’s sign-up form and how it greases conversions.  Simplicity rules.

  31. JwHitticom

    Can’t help but point out that what is missing from this is the # of tweeds that link to posts.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. i don’t know that number but i would like to

  32. Donna Brewington White

    So are you saying that more is more?Or that less is more?

    1. fredwilson

      less is more

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Exactly how I described the theme of this blog-link in my Twitter, yesterday 🙂  



  33. Todd_Andelin

    The data is being generated for sure….content is good, but knowing what is out there and correlating the content to help yourself is the real key.  There are lots of books at a typical University library….but it is the “choice” of someone who has consciousness to make decisions of the possibilities….How can you help people make wonderful choices?  

  34. leigh

    community culture that emerges from social services help morph and change the technology/plaftforms actual usage.  i love the Web.  



  36. Youssef Rahoui

    Maybe true but somehow biased. Other criterias would favour wordpress and the likes: value created, influence from a thought leadership, branding…

  37. jer979

    There is a pivot here around signal:noise ratio and your attention economy Herbert simon idea. Maybe those who invest in WordPress like you do in avc garner more attention, more loyalty ?

  38. Alex Choy

    Definitely killing it with user growth and number of active users.  I would also agree that there seems to be a “less is more” correlation here.  Here’s the ‘but’: do these blogging service platforms have a viable/sustainable business model?  There don’t seem to be a lot of barriers to entry for services like this so the users won’t be likely to ever pay a dime to use it and from the numbers I’ve seen from WordPress and Twitter it seems that advertisers don’t see a significant ROI to put any real dollars to work.  Could you enlighten?

  39. Matt Mullenweg

    The numbers you reference aren’t terribly reflective of WordPress as a whole or the amount of activity being generated from blog posts. (Often a single blog post generates hundreds of tweets, for example.) But that’s something we’re working on.

    1. fredwilson

      i saw that you changed that page i linked to include blogs operating on wpsoftware hosted elsewhere. that’s a smart change matt. the wordpresscommunity is much bigger than

  40. OurielOhayon

    Fred, any reason you did not include Facebook wall stats? After all this is also a way to broadcast and publish infos

    1. fredwilson

      not public by defaulti don’t think of facebook as social media. i think of it as a social network

      1. OurielOhayon

        yes i understand but it does not take away your point. Facebook allowssimple publishing to a restricted audience and its simple format goes alongthe lines you re describing i think.i would also argue there is a caveat with twitter and Tumblr: it is truethis is related to simplicity but it is also related to auto publishing and1 click republishing something traditional blog platform either did notoffer or did not push although they have it. I would be curious to know howmuch of twitter/tumblr is real publishing vs auto publishing andrepublishing