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Twitter website sees ten-fold rise in visitors

Micro-blogging site Twitter gains popularity


On the web, it seems everyone has a story to tell – a fact that it borne out by the increased popularity of the social networking  and micro-blogging service, Twitter.

The number of people visiting the site has increased ten-fold over the past 12-months, according to Hitwise, and Twitter is now the 291st most visited website in the UK.

‘Twitter was one of the fastest growing websites in the UK last year, and it shows no signs of slowing down,’ said Robin Goad, director of research for Hitwise UK.

Twitter allows anyone to set up a service where they can and read other users’ updates known as ‘tweets’, which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

The updates are sent to either close friends or everyone on the site using SMS, RSS or email or through applications such as Twitter Mobile, Twinkle  and TwitterFox.

The idea is that you constantly update other Twitter members on your activities; at it’s most basic a series of Twitter posts might read: ‘I am waking up now’, ‘I’m getting out of bed’, ‘I’m making a cup of tea’.

Read the Which? guide to setting up a blog

Celebrity Twitters

In reality, not all tweets are that mundane and high profile, celebrity Twitterers including Stephen Fry and John Cleese who have 50,000 and 30,000 followers, respectively. The most hotly-followed Twitter recently is that of the new American President Barack Obama, who has over 140,000 followers.

Hitwise claims that Twitter will become increasingly important in driving people to conventional sites. ‘As a source of traffic Twitter is still in its infancy, but it is becoming more important every day,’ commented Goad. ‘A number of news sites, blogs, and video and picture websites already rely on Twitter for a significant amount of their traffic.’

Almost 10% of Twitter’s downstream traffic now goes to news and media websites. BBC News is currently the seventh most popular site visited after Twitter.

  1. Top social networks in the UK, according to Hitwise:

  2. 1. Facebook

  3. 2. YouTube

  4. 3. Bebo

  5. 4. MySpace

  6. 5. Yahoo! Answers

  7. 6. Nasza Klasa

  8. 7. Gumtree.com

  9. 8. Tagged

  10. 9. BBC h2g2

  11. 10. Moneysavingexpert.com Forums 

23. Twitter

Figures are for the week ending 17/1/09

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