The Twitter tsunami

By January 27, 2009Facebook, Twitter

We all know and sense that Twitter is doing really well at the moment (and rumours of a forthcoming $20m VC round help) – but when I read Mike’s post from last Thursday on the subject I was surprised at just how close to the mainstream this is.

First the chart – their UK growth is phenomenal, and puts the popularity of Twitter in the UK ahead of Twitter in the US (291st most popular site compared with 350th, as measured by Hitwise).

And, for those that need reminding, the vast majority of Twitter use comes via 3rd party clients that don’t get captured in these numbers.

Some of the other things that caught my eye:

  • In the UK they had a ten fold increase in traffic over the last twelve months
  • Celebs are starting to come to Twitter in good numbers: Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Jonathan Ross and Philip Schofield are all there.  (Update: As is Russel Brand whose two updates have got him 7,224 followers)
  • The amount of traffic Twitter sends to other websites has increased 30-fold in the last twelve months

This is real momentum. 

Tamlyn put it this way in the comments:

It’s reached that level of awareness Facebook had two years ago: nearly everyone has heard of it but few have checked it out and nobody really understands what it does or why they would want it.

I don’t remember who, but someone said earlier this week that Twitter will be the Facebook of 2009.  It is starting to look that way (business model challenges included…).