How big is the role play universe?
Some hypothesize that it is huge, based on anecdotal evidence of followers and friends on popular platforms. Others say those numbers are misleading, that there are a relatively small number of highly dedicated role players with large numbers of characters on numerous platform in their repertoire. While there aren’t any hard numbers regarding how many people are involved in role play, here are a few numbers regarding the overall use of two popular roleplaying platforms Twitter and Facebook. Note: these numbers represent the entire Twitter and Facebook pies, not just the portion consumed by role play and role players.
First, let’s talk Facebook, the gorilla in the room and not entirely because of its efforts to remove RP characters from its ranks. In March 2011, the Web Business blog reported that, while the average user only creates about 90 pieces of content per month, more than 30 billion pieces of content are shared every day via Facebook. Further, the 200 million people who access Facebook each day via a mobile device are twice as active on Facebook as those who do not. It is also interesting to note that more than 70 percent of Facebook users are from outside the U.S. and 51.2 percent of Facebook users globally are male.
In contrast, Twitter sees 155 million tweets per day, according to the company PR tweets. Globally speaking, the number of tweets per day has increased 41 percent, although growth was slower in the U.S. when then number of daily tweets only grew by 38 percent. Like Facebook, Twitter has also seen significant growth in the mobile sector, especially with Android and Apple users. Monthly Android Twitter app users increased 104 percent during the first quarter of 2011 followed by a 72 percent increase in iPad users and a 55 percent increase in iPhone app users. In fact, it’s not just mobile use that grew, it was mobile users. There was a 50 percent increase in the number of unique monthly mobile signups. Between December 2010 and March 2011, there was an increase 0f 52 percent in monthly Twitter account signups with even more Americans joining the stream as monthly account signups in the U.S. increased 57 percent.
What does all this mean?
Well, it’s probably good news for Twitter role players. The growth means there are more fans and potential role-players joining the ranks everyday. Sure, losing Facebook profiles hurt, but some folks are recapturing them with Pages while others are establishing their presence on Twitter and other social media where they are becoming a growing influence. Let’s hope the Facebook fiasco doesn’t follow us….