just issued a report that we find, frankly, impossible to believe. Hitwise says that last week Twitter saw more web traffic than Digg for the first time.Widely respected web traffic analyst firm Hitwise has
We've posted the numbers and charts below, along with some thoughts on how this may or may not be possible. You be the judge. We don't believe it though. Why is this important? Because if the leading microblogging service really topped the leading user-voted news site for eyeballs, that would say a lot about emerging new media paradigms.
Hitwise says that last week Twitter was the 84th most visited site in its Computers and Internet category of websites and Digg was the 85th. Digg gets its traffic from Google, Hitwise says, and Twitter mostly from "social networks."
The needle moving event? According to Hitwise the much publicized Twitter coverage of the US Airways plane crash in to the Hudson River last Thursday drove a whole lot of traffic. That can't explain it all though.
There's a bunch of caveats we have to mention here. Specifically, Hitwise notes that much of Twitter's traffic comes from mobile devices that aren't counted. We'd add that much of Digg's traffic probably comes from paranoid and tech-savvy users who evade traffic monitoring software, though much of Hitwise's data comes directly from ISPs and is harder to evade than other monitoring methods might be.
Compete.com puts Digg still far, far ahead of Twitter.
Other reports put Twitter's registered users around 5 million. Digg sees monthly unique visitors probably 5 or 6 times that number, at least. Are a whole lot of people visiting Twitter but not registering for accounts? Given all the mainstream media attention Twitter has been getting this year - maybe it is possible. For what it's worth, here at ReadWriteWeb we get a lot of love on Twitter but see far more traffic from Digg, StumbleUpon and other social networks.
Twitter couldn't see more traffic than Digg already, could it? This looks more like a Hitwise problem than a changing of the online landscape. If Twitter did pass Digg that would be a big deal - but we don't see that happening any time soon. Sorry Hitwise.
Twitter may be tiny but we love it any way. Come join the RWW crew there via this slideshow of our accounts.