Thursday, 2 July 2009

Twitter global usage - 168 million monthly visits! App traffic is 80% of Twitter use, the monthly visit figure is much higher than we thought!

A while back Neville Hobson used various Twitter stats to try and work out the actual number of monthly visits and estimated that Twitter was getting around 60 million monthly visits when web traffic and app use was combined.

So why do I think Twitter is getting 160 million monthly visits?

When Neville did his maths in April Comscore were showing 19.1 million monthly web visits and Hitwise were showing UK Twitter traffic had increased to 0.13% of all UK web visits (with a growth trajectory that mirrored the global upward trend.)

Now consider that Hitwise are showing Twitter to be at 0.23% of UK internet visits - a 76% increase on the figure that Neville used. If this is applied to the Comscore data from April it would mean Twitter received 33.6 million global monthly visits from the web:

Hitwise UK Twitter traffic increaseHitwise UK Twitter traffic growth (Twitter web use - does not include traffic from mobile or Twitter Apps)

But what about the Twitter Apps? This traffic isn't included in any of the Hitwise or Comscore figures. What would Twitter monthly traffic be if app use was factored in?

We've only been able to guess before, but the Guardian has now given us some help. Evan Weaver, Twitter's lead engineer in it's services team tells the Guardian that:

"only 20% of its traffic comes through the Twitter website; the other 80% (logically) comes from third-party programs on smartphones or computers. So if you're looking at Twitter stats on your website, you're probably underestimating that source of traffic by a factor of five."

80% of Twitter traffic comes through Twitter Apps! 80% of Twitter use is not picked up in Comscore or Hitwise Twitter traffic figures.

This means that everyone has been grossly underestimating Twitter usage. Neville was conservative with 30% traffic through Twitter apps to get to his 60 million figure in April. Well thanks to the information from Evan Weaver in the Guardian we can safely assume that monthly visits to Twitter are now in excess of 150 million and if my flaky maths methodology above is to be believed, Twitter global monthly traffic could now be sitting as high as 168 million monthly visits!

It looks like Twitter is [even] more important than we thought...........

Follow me on Twitter @nickburcher

Related posts
Twitter demographics and usage from various data sources

The Twitter song

Facebook usage figures by country (showing extraordinary year on year global growth)

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