By Peter Young
According to Hitwise data released on January 21st this year, Twitter usage in the UK has increased 10 fold in just 12 months – with celebrities such as Steven Fry, Jonathan Ross, John Cleese and Richard Branson even joining the ever increasing list of Twitterers. This follows hot on the heels of Hitwise announcing Twitter usage has overtaken that off Digg in the US.
According to Hitwise, for the week ending 17/01/09 Twitter was ranked as the 291st most visited website in the UK, up from a ranking of 2,953 for the week ending 19/01/08. It should also be noted that the site actually performed better in the UK – than in the US, with Twitter coming around 50 places higher in the UK (291 UK vs 350 in the US). During this period traffic to the site was up by nearly 1000% (974%), however this excluded traffic from mobiles and that via third party applications such as Twitterrific and Tweetdeck. Dwell time on site has also increased from around ten minutes to over half an hour. However in term of overall performance, Twitter was only the 23rd biggest social network (with 0.24%) in UK eclipsed in usage by Facebook (37%), Youtube (17%) and even MoneySavingexpert Forums (0.57%).
Despite the fact that Twitter is popular amongst the 18-30 age group, it is the 35-44 age group that is the fastest growing age group, which accounted for around 17.3%. Impressive growth figures were not only confined to usage figures and the 35-44 age group. The amount of referral traffic to other external sites has increased by 30 times, with the main beneficiaries being:
- 10% to news and media sites
- 17.6% to entertainment sites
- 14.6% to Social Networks
- 6.6% to blogs
- 4.5% to online retail websites.
Certainly the promotion of Twitter on mainstream programmes such as Jonathon Ross (in his first show back), and on the BBC News programmes over this weekend can only serve to further spread the gospel of Twitterology.
Peter Young runs the Holistic Search Marketing blog – recent compiling the 10 UK Search Marketers you should be following on Twitter