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There are ten million active Twitter accounts in Blighty, the microblogging wunderkind announced on, er, Twitter this morning. And 80 per cent of UK twits access the site on their mobiles.

The UK is believed to be the world's fourth most active nation of tweeters, after the US, Brazil and Japan, going on a 2011 analysis by Semiocast.

With a total of 140 million active users globally, Twitter has been growing but is still significantly smaller than Facebook, which had 901 million active users at last count, and, er, Google+ which claimed to have 170 million. In common with Facebook, Twitter has chosen to measure its active users - people who log in at least once every 30 days - rather than its registered users.

Twitter has a low active-user-to-registration ratio: many people open accounts but do nothing with them. For example, Semiocast estimated that the UK had approximately 24 million Twitter registrations by the end of 2011, but from the new figures, less than half of them are used at least once a month.

Reasons given for the popularity of Twitter in Britain varied. The Daily Mail said that the site had become "highly 'visible' due to celebrities airing their private lives through their tweets". Yahoo News quoted social media consultant Kate Bussmann saying that Britain is obsessed with watching TV and nattering about it - reducing Twitter to a glorified water cooler:

In the UK we spend a lot of time indoors watching TV or in pubs watching football and both are massive drivers of Twitter use here. We love to tweet while watching TV, watching X-Factor while Twitter is on so we can see what people are saying.

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