A minority of highly active users produce the vast majority of tweets from U.S. adults, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. But what about adult Twitter users who tweet relatively infrequently? Who are they, and how do they use the site?

Here are five facts about so-called Twitter “lurkers,” based on the Center’s recent study. In this analysis, the terms “lurkers” and “infrequent tweeters” are used interchangeably to refer to U.S. adults who have posted an average of fewer than five tweets per month since they first opened their account, whether those tweets were original messages, retweets, quote tweets or replies.

  1. Roughly half of U.S. adults who use Twitter (49 percent) post fewer than five tweets per month. Demographically, this group is largely defined by its age. Around six-in-ten infrequent tweeters are ages 30 to 49.

  2. Lurkers report visiting Twitter’s site less frequently than more active tweeters. Around one-in-five lurkers (21 percent) say they visit the site every day, compared with 55 percent of more active tweeters.

  3. Twitter lurkers are more likely to use the platform to hear other points of view than more frequent tweeters. When asked whether they use the site to express their own opinions or to see what others are saying, 76 percent of lurkers say they use the platform primarily to see what others are saying.

  4. Lurkers follow—and are followed by—fewer accounts than more frequent tweeters. The typical (median) lurker is followed by just 15 other accounts, compared with 159 accounts for more active tweeters.

  5. Replies make up the largest share of lurkers’ tweets. Replies to other users are the most common type of tweet by infrequent tweeters. They account for roughly half (51 percent) of lurkers’ tweets.