Posted November 13, 2009 8:01 am by with 5 comments

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Twitter iconBefore you read any further just lean back and take a deep breath. You are about to enter the “Research Zone”. You know the place well. It’s where we give you shocking numbers that someone has come up with using their “methodology” and it is then used to create shocking headlines around the Internet for your reading enjoyment. It’s almost like having an informant who whispers something in your ear then you get to blab it all over the place and set the masses running. It’s fun!

Today’s “OMG stat” is brought to you by comScore via TechCrunch. Apparently, Twitter had a rough October.

Ever since last summer, Twitter’s growth in the U.S. has been stalling. But in October, the number of people who visited from the U.S. actually declined for the first time by 8 percent month-over-month. Estimates released today by comScore put Twitter’s domestic unique visitors at 19.2 million, down from 20.9 million in September.

On an annual basis, Twitter is still going gangbusters with 1,271 percent growth from 1.4 million visitors in October, 2008. And on a global basis, it still seems to be chugging away with 58.4 million visitors in September. But a hypergrowth company like Twitter cannot afford to slow down in its home market.

Things to consider:

  • Evan Williams, Twitter’s CEO, has acknowledged the slowdown so there must be some validity to it. His hope is new features will help slow or stop this trend
  • These results do not measure those accessing Twitter via third party clients. Only Twitter knows how many actual accounts they have and which are showing activity. Of course, I challenge them to present a number of accounts that are real users and not spammers. What would the numbers look like then?
  • This could be a hiccup
  • Facebook is possibly cleaning their clock
  • US growth is one piece, albeit a very important one, to the grand Twitterscheme of things

Here’s the pretty picture for you to look at wonder over.


So what’s your take? Twitter – thumbs up or thumbs down? Can adding new features attract more users or are they just tools that “preach to the choir” meaning only helping those already on board? Should anyone be worried about this?

  • OMFG, Does this mean I have to find something new to write about 🙂
    I don’t think this looks as bad as BINGS launch. In fact you need some good
    shock absorbers to ride that slope! Or spikey boots to arrest the slide.


  • Too much crap now. I rarely log in. I am just as guility as everybody else I tweeted enough crap of my own. I still think twitter is much better for business than personal. I could care less if somebody is in Starbucks even if it is Demi Moore and she has just had her end away with the gorgeous Ashton Kutcher. I think they should charge a fee for use and be done with it.

  • Via Debra aho Williamson at The eMarketer Blog:

    While it’s valuable to look at Twitter’s Web traffic, the true picture won’t emerge until all the third-party traffic from mobile phones and API clients is accounted for. And it’s likely sizeable.

    According to Crowd Science’s August 2009 survey of Twitter users worldwide, while 71% said they primarily accessed Twitter via the Web, 26% said their primary way of accessing Twitter was via a third-party application.

    And of people with only one Internet-connected device, just 10% use Twitter or another status update service, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s recent report. But among people who have at least four Internet-connected devices (such as a mobile phone or game console in addition to a PC), 39% use Twitter or another status update service.

    PingDom data says that US Twitter users sent an average of 27.3 million tweets per day during the three weeks ended Nov. 11. While that data doesn’t say anything about the number of users Twitter has, it does show that they are quite active. (No word on what percentage of the tweets were spam, however.)

    .-= Clark Fredricksen´s last blog ..eMarketer: Is Twitter Usage Really Going Down? by @debrawilliamson – The eMarketer Blog =-.

  • I have noticed a drop in the number of people who follow links from my tweets… down from 400 plus to 100 plus… these usually represent active users who have decided not to visit twitter as often or who have moved to Facebook for the “conversation”

    The number of false accounts seems to be an issue too… @KevinRuddPM have 70% “spammy” accounts following him???

    And I would presume that traffic from 3rd parties would represent a huge volume as nearly everyone who inetracts with me uses a third party application to access Twitter – I use @peoplebrowsr @Socialoomp @pingfm

    OMG comment – twitter needs to refocus on user generated issues and not try to steal those enhancements… recently they have changed the “feel” of retweeting and it hasn’t been well accepted.

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