Analysts and investors alike have zeroed in on Twitter's user growth and engagement, key metrics for a not-yet-profitable company whose entire pitch is based on potential future earnings.
Regulatory filings show the number of monthly active users on the site is still growing—up 39 percent in the third quarter from the prior year—albeit at a slower rate. And advertising on Twitter—which represents 89 percent of the company's revenue as of September—still relies upon users interacting with promoted content.
(Read more: What's your Twitter IQ?)
But more than half of Twitter users, the poll shows, don't engage on Twitter, they just read, or "lurk."
"We view Twitter's advertising solutions as somewhat unproven," wrote Scott Kessler, an analyst at S&P Capital, in a recent research report, where he also cautioned the company could harm the user experience by flooding its site with promotions.
Potential investors appear still skeptical on the sustainability of the broader social media industry, where many companies with scant earnings continue to fetch strikingly high valuations.
Twitter on Monday raised the range in which it would price its offering to $23 to $25 a share, up from a previously disclosed range of $17 to $20 a share. At the high end of the new range, Twitter would raise as much as $1.75 billion and be valued as high as $13.6 billion.
Only 35 percent of the poll's respondents said that it is "extremely likely" that Twitter will be successful in the next five years. The sentiment is similar for other relatively early-stage social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, with less than half of Americans seeing success for those companies by 2018.
Still, an October fundraising round reported by AllThingsD valued Pinterest at $3.8 billion, and Instagram inked a $1 billion deal to sell itself to Facebook in 2012. Forthcoming fundraising for Snapchat, a popular service that allows users to send messages that self-destruct, reportedly values the company at up to $4 billion. None of the companies mentioned has been profitable.
Beyond being skeptical of its viability as a public company, respondents also don't view Twitter itself as favorably as its competitors.
(Read more: Twitter's sexy IPO is a trap: Trader)
The survey shows just 19 percent of respondents with a favorable impression, compared to 47 percent with a favorable impression of Facebook. (And more investors had faith in Facebook as a public company, too: 54 percent of active investors say it will be successful in five years. And 54 percent of respondents at its 2012 IPO said it would be a good investment. The stock is up more than 30 percent since then.)