Twitter Measured Against Google, Facebook Yardsticks

    March 23, 2009

Twitter turned three years old this weekend, and to hear some people tell it, the service is on a path that’ll have it taking over the world in no time.  But comparisons to a sort of kinder, less articulate Stewie Griffin may be a little premature, since it turns out Twitter hasn’t measured up to two other companies.

A couple of notes before we get started: a site can definitely qualify as a success even if it doesn’t attract as many visitors as Facebook or Google.  Also, since the habits of cell phone-using individuals aren’t covered by the average comScore, Hitwise, or Nielsen report, it’s possible there’s an army of mobile Twitter users that’s just gone unnoticed.

Twitter Growth

Anyway, John Battelle tried to put Twitter’s growth into perspective by noting, "Google (officially) launched in Sept 1998.  Three years later it had nearly 18mm US uniques (comscore).  Facebook launched in mid 2004.  Three years later it had nearly 27mm US unique users (comscore).  Twitter launched in March 2006.  Three years later it has (roughly) 8 million US uniques users (compete)."

And a Compete graph showing the sites’ current standings also makes it clear that Twitter has a ways to go, of course.

So, although the company’s made some remarkable progress, Twitter may not represent quite the revolution some people portray it as.