Twitter is not going to make it..

Pretty dramatic prognosis eh..Esp, after all the hype that twitter is getting in the media, one would think that the whole world uses twitter. Here’s why I don’t think twitter will not be such a darling 2/3 years from now. It might still exist in some shape/form (I think it is going to be acquired and integrated into a larger offering), but it won’t be the buzz word anymore.

First the good part.. Let’s take a look at some data from Compete and Alexa (companies that provide web statistics about sites) in comparison to facebook and myspace (the 800 lbs Gorillas of social networking)

Traffic Ranking :

Similar data from Alexa (where the long term data is available for free, unlike Compete)

No surprises here. We see that the ranking of Twitter has gone up drastically and is staying there..

Reach :

Interesting trend. One would expect that the reach (i.e. the number of people accessing the site) would go up as drastically as the ranking, but it is not as linear. Facebook is doing pretty well in this statistic.

Page Views :

I think this is to be expected. Twitter does not rely as much on page view due to the design and nature of the site.

Looking at all the data above, it looks like twitter is in a good place right. Now let’s add another dimension to the analysis. Let’s take a look at how Google views twitter. “Google Insights” is a service offered by Google to help analyze the “search” volume of keywords across regions and timelines. Since Google has ~70% of the search engine traffic, this is a good way to observe the trends.

Here is a graph showing the “interest” starting from 2004…

Zooming into the last 12 months..

Interesting to see that while facebook is getting more and more “interesting”, twitter is not catching up. This might be due to two reasons.

  1. Twitter really did not promote it’s search function until July 2009, meaning the search engines did not have a way to scrape the site and as such did not have a lot of content to show to users.
  2. Twitter partnered with Google and Bing in Oct 2010 2009 to index it’s posting. Again, this means that the search engines just got to the data and it might take some time for them to start showing the data in the search results.

I don’t know if this is conclusive evidence to show that Twitter will not make it. Twitter definitely has its place, but I don’t think it is all that the media has hyped it to be. Even though the media hype has driven more and more users to Twitter, the company has to yet come out with an viable business plan. I think that businesses are flocking towards twitter, because users are.. but once the fad passes on, the world is also going to move on.

P.S : I don’t think I need to mention to anyone looking at the data presented above that MySpace is on a downward spiral :). Who still uses Coldfusion to run a site?? That is so 90s!! :).