In this week’s Twitter Friday column I want to dissect the news that Twitter traffic is dropping for a few months in a row. Is it true?
Well, in case you rely on Compete.com data only you will probably say yes. Compete.com is quite reliable but also known to measure US traffic. They rather count the people who really mater to the advertisers at home.
I usually don’t look up Alexa stats either to get a grip on the global traffic. Thanks Google we have Google Trends for Websites which is quite accurate when it comes to assessing visitor numbers worldwide. Well, it’s run by Google and Google has dozens of sources providing them with traffic data.
So when we take a closer look at the stats we’ll find out that Twitter traffic in the US is dropping compared to peak months earlier this year but it is still ridiculously higher than year ago at the same time.
Globally Twitter traffic numbers are still on the rise.
I don’t want to talk exact numbers here though. I’m interested in the overall direction when it comes to the popularity of Twitter.
Before I start to make educated guesses about the current trends I want to dwell on the competitor’s visitor statistics though. The two remaining competitors of Twitter you could expect to become a threat one day are losing ground in the US.
Both Compete.com and Google Trends for Websites show losses over the recent months in the US for Friendfeed and Plurk. Especially Friendfeed is losing fast after it has been bought by Facebook.
Friendfeed is losing global support as well. At the same time Plurk got huge in Asia during 2009. Most of their users seem to come from Taiwan, Indonesia and Philippines. The US is only at #4. Can someone confirm this?
Even social media analysts’ darling LinkedIn lost some considerable steam too in the US (but like Twitter NOT globally). Only the Facebook behemoth hasn’t really lost many users lately.
What do these stats tell us?
- During the holiday and shopping season Americans use less social media, especially those tools they use for work (LinkedIn and Twitter). As facebook is used to connect with real life friends and relatives or even closer family members Facebook is as useful in between Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.
- Another logical explanation for the stats of the three leading microblogging platforms: The US market for microblogging is saturated. There is no growth anymore so that during holidays the numbers actually dwindle.
- Last but not least there is Tumblr. Tumblr is a mixture of both microblogging and blogging (plus some extra ingredients). Tumblr is growing quickly and it seems people “tumbl” more and blog less. Maybe they microblog less as well. Tumblr is still small compared to Twitter but it’s already much bigger than both Friendfeed and Plurk.
I guess you will tweet less as well when Santa comes over so don’t think Twitter is already on the way down. My guess is that it will stay roughly on the same level in 2010.
P.S.: Hey “twittercism”! Why did you delete my comment about Compete.com counting mainly US traffic?