Becoming a tweep: How prior online experiences influence Twitter use

Eszter Hargittai*, Eden Litt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Despite much excitement about the microblogging platform Twitter, little is known about predictors of its adoption and how its uses relate to other online activities in particular. Using a unique longitudinal data set from 2009 to 2010 surveying over 500 diverse young American adults about their online experiences, we look at how adoption of Twitter relates to prior engagement in other types of online activities. Our findings suggest that online skills as well as prior consumption and production activities especially in the domain of entertainment news are significant predictors of subsequent Twitter use. Our results caution about the potential biases that may result from studies that sample on Twitter users excluding other populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-702
Number of pages23
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Twitter
  • adoption
  • celebrities
  • entertainment
  • longitudinal data
  • social network sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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