October Marked First Decline For Twitter Visitors In A Year

    November 13, 2009

Before 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 Twitter.com 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?