Twitter, which has made a major push to get on mobile phones, says the number of people accessing the site through their handhelds has jumped 62% since mid-April. Twitter also reported Thursday that 16% of all new Twitter users now start on their mobile phone, much higher than the 5% in mid-April, when the company announced plans to have a Twitter-branded client on all the major smartphone platforms. Those platforms include Apple's iOS, found in the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch; the BlackBerry OS from Research in Motion and Google's Android operating system, which powers phones from Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others.
"As we had hoped in April, these clients are bringing more people into Twitter, and, even better, they are attracting and retaining active users," the site said in its blog. According to Twitter, 46% of its "active users" access the site through mobile devices regularly.
Nevertheless, the dominant way people head to Twitter remains their computers. In the last 30 days, 78% of unique users posted updates to the microblogging site through Twitter.com, while 14% use the site's mobile Web site, m.twitter.com; 8% text messaging, 8% Twitter for iPhone and 7% Twitter for BlackBerry. The numbers add up to more than 100%, because people use multiple apps in accessing the site.
"As this data shows, while smart phone clients are important, there are even more people who use the mobile Twitter website and/or SMS (short message service)," Twitter said. "We've been seeing strong growth in both of these areas."
Third-party applications also played a significant role, with the top five being the gateway for 14% of unique users last month. An emerging means of accessing Twitter is through OAuth applications. OAuth is an open standard used on websites to allow users to share private resources, such as photos, videos and contact lists, on another site without handing out their username and password. The number of OAuth applications tapping into Twitter has tripled since mid-April to almost 300,000.
Twitter says expanding the number of applications on multiple platforms accessing the site are critical to it success. Twitter currently has more than 145 million registered users.