Social Media and Social Networking

Get Social!

Users Tweet, Tweet and Tweet

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on January 21, 2009

twitter_logoMicro-blogging service and popular social network ‘Twitter’ has a big reason to celebrate. According to competitive and search intelligence firm Hitwise, Twitter recorded a tenfold increase in UK online traffic over the last 1 year. Moreover, Twitter even managed to beat social content site Digg in terms of traffic generated from US.

As per Hitwise, Twitter’s rank shot up from 2,953 for the week ending January 19, 2008 to 291 for the week ending January 17, 2009, a jaw-dropping growth in UK online traffic by 974%. This clearly indicates that Twitter has become a hot destination for UK-based internet visitors today.

A spokesperson of Hitwise UK said that Twitter’s service is more popular than the actual numbers implied, as Hitwise is measuring only the traffic that is driving towards the main Twitter site. This means if you also consider people who access their Twitter accounts through mobile devices and third party applications like Twitterfeed, Tweetdeck and Twitterrific, the numbers could shoot up even more.

Also, the average amount of time spent by users on has increased to about 30 minutes now from less than 10 minutes last year – an impressive growth by more than three times.

No doubt Twitter receives maximum traffic from the US, but its penetration level is considerably higher in the UK market. It accounted for 0.024% of the total internet visits, with rank 291 amongst most visited site in the UK for the week ending January 17, 2009. On the other hand, it accounted for 0.020% of the total internet visits, with rank 350 amongst most visited site in the US.

Demographically, Twitter is more accepted by young users in the urban areas of Britain. However, its appeal is gradually widening as it continues to grow. Currently, 17.3% of UK users who flock over Twitter’s main site fall in the age group 35-44 years, believed to be the fastest growing group.

Interestingly, Twitter is not only receiving increased traffic but also engaged in sending it to several other sites. In fact, the amount of traffic generated by other sites through Twitter has risen 30-fold since the last 1 year. Close to 10% of Twitter’s downstream traffic navigates News and Media sites, while 17.6%, 14.6%, 6.6% and 4.5% travel to entertainment portals, social networks, blogs and online retailers respectively.

Not only common users, but also celebrities seemed to have been bitten by the Twitter bug. Since the last few weeks, several popular Twitter members have contributed to the site’s success in the UK. For example, English actor, TV presenter, comedian and author Stephen Fry has over 60, 000 followers already, while another English artist John Cleese and Scottish Tennis player Andy Murray have over 30,000 and 3,000 followers respectively, besides others.

However, the most infamous celebrity on Twitter is the newly elected American President Barack Obama, who is followed by over 140,000 users today.

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