Data released today from Compete.com supports what will not be a surprise to most. Facebook is the most visited social network, with nearly 1.2 billion visits in January 2009. This also represents significant growth, with visits to Facebook up 36% on December, and 256% over the previous twelve months. MySpace slipped into second place at the end of 2008 and since September of that year has been seeing visits levelling at about 810 thousand a month.
But the real news may be neither of these sites. More dramatic is the catapulting of Twitter from 22nd most visited social network at the start of 2008, to third most visited in January. A growth of 1,227% in 12 months.
Twitter’s growth is an area of particular interest – with a range of very different people now starting to explore and use Twitter, from traditional mass media outlets to political parties here in Norway, I expect the rapid growth to continue in the next twelve months. If they are to be successful they need to innovate in the way that Facebook has done. Move beyond their traditional audience and explore new features, interfaces and ways of working. With this rapid scale of growth, the average Twitter user is very different now to the average user twelve months ago. In the next twelve months, the average user will change again.