Twitter grows 974% in the last 12 months


Following on from our recent compendium of social media traffic growth, Robin Goad has posted Hitwise’s latest stats about Twitter’s phenomenal growth in the UK:

Twitter's UK traffic growth

Twitter was one of the fastest growing websites in the UK last year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, the service is even more popular than our numbers imply, as we are only measuring traffic to the main Twitter website. If the people accessing their Twitter accounts via mobile phones and third party were included, the numbers would be even higher. Many people seem to find Twitter addictive: the average amount of time that people spend on has more than trebled from less than 10 minutes a year ago to half an hour now.

Twitter receives the largest amount of its traffic from the USA, but its penetration is greater in the UK market. For the week ending 17/10/09 ranked as the 291st most visited website in the UK, accounting for 0.024% of all Internet visits; while in the USA it ranked 350th, picking up 0.020% of all Internet visits.

Twitter is still most popular with younger users in urban areas, but its appeal is broadening as it grows. The fastest growing age group of users is 35-44 year olds, who now account for 17.3% of UK visitors to

Twitter is becoming an important source of Internet traffic for many sites, and the amount of traffic it sends to other websites has increased 30-fold over the last 12 months.

This follows on from yesterday’s US Hitwise data from Heather Dougherty, pointing out that Twitter is now more popular than

Twitter's US traffic growth vs. Digg

We’ve been experimenting using Twitter as part of our campaigns for a while now, and also helped Stephen Fry get going on Twitter, but although these figures are heading in the right direction, Twitter is still far from mainstream and you need to think carefully about what impact any commercial use of Twitter is likely to achieve before investing any significant resources in it.

While we’re on the subject, you could find out why people use Twitter, see Chris’ commentary on why the British tabloids are so hostile towards Twitter or even follow me on Twitter.

Update: also see Twitter: was there a Ross / Fry effect? and more recently, Twitter’s UK traffic trebles in a month.