how threatened Facebook's growth might be by Twitter. The company's conclusion: Twitter is no threat at all.Hitwise, a web traffic analytics firm that often publishes fun and interesting stats on issues of the day, looks today at
Traffic to Twitter is declining, Hitwise General Manager of Global Research Bill Tancer writes, while Facebook's growth continues to go through the roof. Facebook is approaching ubiquity, while Twitter's appeal is narrow and its average registered user is totally unengaged. "That being said," Tancer writes, "I still plan to tweet this entry."
Twitter may be befuddling still for mainstream masses of users, but for the millions of people who get it - Twitter is invaluable. It's a public listening post for innovative thought leaders across a broad swath of industries - if that's what you're into. It's also a great place to read short jokes about flatulence or sex from people you've never met - if that's what you're looking for.
Facebook feels more secure though, it's got clearer social hooks and it's easier to start using. As a result, Facebook is probably ten or more times the size of Twitter. As Twitter user Justin Houk put it today, "Twitter is a cult classic in the making - not a blockbuster."
The Hitwise data doesn't take into account the use of 3rd party Twitter clients, but the Twitter website is a more common way to interact with the service and its traffic is a good proxy for overall Twitter use.
What are the relative business prospects for both, long term? It's hard to say, but charts like these from Hitwise have got to make Twitter HQ feel uneasy.