According to a recent report by Twitter, nearly 23 million of Twitter's 271 million active users (MAUs) are "bots".
Twitter bots are computer programmes that tweet of their own accord. Twitter says that these accounts are not necessarily spam accounts, which according to the company make up less than 5% of MAUs. Bots are set up by humans but once functional don’t usually have any humans behind them. This affects advertisers who are interested in reaching potential customers.
The micro blogging site stated in the filing that, "up to approximately 8.5 percent" of the accounts it considers active are automatically updated "without any discernible additional user-initiated action".
This new disclosure clarifies an earlier statement by the company that 14 percent of MAUs access the service outside of the official website and mobile apps by using Twitter's application programming interface (API). Twitter specifies that the 14 percent figure "included certain users who accessed Twitter through owned and operated applications".
"Only 11 percent of MAUs accessed Twitter from applications that the company does not own like Tweetbot or Flipboard," it added.
Twitter recently posted its Q2 results which showed an increase nearly 16 million users, or 6.3%, more users globally. The company's revenue has increased to $312.2 million due to increase in mobile ads, which now constitute about 81% of total advertisement sales.
According to a recent report by eMarketer, India has had a 37% growth rate in social networking in 2013 and will have more than 80 million Facebook and Twitter users by the end of the year.