Twitter growth and hype continue

As reported on Mashable in early April Twitter and Facebook both had fantastic months in March – with Twitter posting 77% growth in that single month from an already sizeable base.  See the chart below for US monthly unique figures for both sites.

twitter-facebook growth

Moreover, since then according to Techcrunch’s sources “close to the company” growth has accelerated to 40% per week and they now have 25m users.

When I read these numbers my first thought was to wonder whether their investors would prefer to see traffic growth at say half these levels, but with more progress on monetisation – particularly as there is an Indian Twitter look-alike is apparently making $150k per month.  However, by the time I had reached the end of the Techcrunch piece I had my answer, as the latest (admittedly weak) rumours are that Apple is in talks to buy the business for $700m.  (As an interesting aside the article also notes that the founders were partially cashed out in the last round so they are now “fully aligned” with their investors – a concept we have been pushing here for some time and one that contributed to the success of buy.at.)

That said, I think that for all but the most exciting social media brands (which is probably limited to Twitter and Facebook right now) I think that it is preferable to be mid-sized and profitable than large and loss-making.  This is in contrast to the situation a couple of years ago when big exits were available for many high profile social media businesses that had yet to prove their business models.  I don’t think those days will be back any time soon.