Hitwise Data Shows That We’re All Twittered Out

Some fresh Hitwise data posted by Bill Tancer just a few weeks ago indicates that Twitter might have hit a wall and is now on the decline. Just as Twitter secured an additional $100 million in financing, which would place the company’s valuation in the $1 billion range, Bill dug into the data to take a quick look at Twitter’s market share of visits to see if the hype is matched by site traffic. I’ve included 2 of the key graphs here – Marketshare of Visits (U.S.) to Twitter.com and search volume for “Twitter”. In both visits and searches, Twitter appears to have hit a resistance point as of April 2009, which validates the feeling expressed by many heavy users that engagement seems to be falling off of late.

It should be noted that the chart immediately below indicates visits to Twitter’s website, and does not include application and mobile traffic. That being said, even without application and mobile data, visits to the main Twitter domain should have some correlation to new user adoption. If this interests you, please head over to Bill’s post and start a discussion – perhaps he’ll be nice enough to run the reports again as of this week so that we can get a better idea of whether this is just a temporary setback Twitter is experiencing, or not. My guess is that with the addition of Twitter lists, you’ll see a spike this week back to Twitter.com, but that it’ll be a spike, not necessarily the start of an upward trend.

Marketshare Of Visits (U.S.) to Twitter.com

twitter_hitwise

Search Volume (U.S.) for “Twitter”

twitter-search-vol

6 Comments

  1. It's time for innovation. And if it's not going to come from their development community (the group responsible for Twitter's innovation over the past 24 months) then it falls to them.

    It looks like their betting big on re-energizing the development community with the list API and the geo API. Will this be enough of a spark? We'll see.

    1. It does look like they're betting on re-energizing the community with lists
      - my guess is that it's going to spark temporary interest and then stagnate.
      They still haven't figured out the conversational dynamics (which I think is
      what's really hurting them). FriendFeed and Facebook's organization of
      conversations still beats the heck out of Twitter which may be the crucial
      factor. We'll see.

  2. I agree organization of conversations is at best disjointed and hard to follow, even with some of the best tools out there. (Facebook does a much better job allowing the user to tailor what they see) Some of the new APIs are interesting but may not satisfy the community long term. I think the community is constantly in search of good information and crisp organization is key.

  3. @steffanantonas and @peterbelyea, the points you both made about the conversational dynamic are apropos of Bing adding tweets to their SERPs. Yesterday, I came across a question on LinkedIn asking about the impact of this move. Tweets, as Peter points out, are disjointed and hard to follow. I'm not informed enough about search engine filtering mechanics, but outside the context of the specific conversation; however, as an end user, my initial reaction is that tweets on the SERPs will add more noise, and perhaps Bing will become another venue for black hat SEO practitioners to game the search engine system and add more spam to the twittersphere.

    What do you guys think?

    1. Andrea – I think your concerns are valid. I'm not sure how Twitter's
      partnership with Bing will really benefit the black hat SEO crew, but it
      will certainly add noise to the system. The one thing I think the rise of
      social search does mean is that customers will have increasing influence
      over Search Results that affect Brands

      http://bit.ly/2PegQZ

      I think there's a lot of potential and merit to what they're trying to do,
      but until they can figure out a way to implement it in a simple, elegant
      way, I don't see this adding much value. The current implementation looks
      sloppy and thrown together IMO. We'll see.

  4. Andrea – I think your concerns are valid. I'm not sure how Twitter's
    partnership with Bing will really benefit the black hat SEO crew, but it
    will certainly add noise to the system. The one thing I think the rise of
    social search does mean is that customers will have increasing influence
    over Search Results that affect Brands

    http://bit.ly/2PegQZ

    I think there's a lot of potential and merit to what they're trying to do,
    but until they can figure out a way to implement it in a simple, elegant
    way, I don't see this adding much value. The current implementation looks
    sloppy and thrown together IMO. We'll see.

Comments are closed.