Home Hitwise: Twitter Drives Traffic to Blogs and Social Networks, But Not to Retail Sites

Hitwise: Twitter Drives Traffic to Blogs and Social Networks, But Not to Retail Sites

According to the latest data from Hitwise, Twitter sends most of its traffic to Google, Facebook, TwitPic, and MySpace. Overall, Twitter sends about 1 in 5 users to social networks and another 1 in 5 to entertainment sites like Twitpic, YouTube, or Flickr. Even though some people think that Twitter is just a ‘poor man’s email system,’ Twitter’s clickstream profile is very different from that of most email services.

There are a number of interesting results in Hitwise’s study. Among others, Hitwise notes that a higher share of downstream clicks from Twitter.com go to blogs and personal websites than from search sites, social networks, or email services. A larger number of Twitter users are also being sent to news and media sites, which points towards Twitter’s growing role as a medium for sharing and breaking news stories.

Another interesting fact about the downstream clicks from Twitter is that very few users go from Twitter.com to retail, business, or finance sites.

Here are a few other interesting findings:

  • after visiting Twitter.com, more users visit Etsy.com, the marketplace for buying all things handmade, than Amazon
  • in terms of downstream clicks, CNN.com is the most popular news service on Twitter
  • Yahoo Mail gets more downstream clicks than Gmail or Windows Live Mail

One caveat about this data that Hitwise does not mention, however, is that a large number of Twitter users never even visit Twitter.com because they use more fully-featured desktop or mobile clients like Twhirl, TweetDeck, or Tweetie. Hitwise obviously doesn’t have access to this data, but it would be interesting to see if those Twitter users who use a Twitter client exhibit a different behavior compared to those who use the web site.

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