Trouble At Twitter: U.S. Visitors Down 8 Percent In October



Ever since last summer, Twitter’s growth in the U.S. has been stalling. But in October, the number of people who visited 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.

CEO Evan Williams recently acknowledged the slowdown in the U.S., and hopes that a slew of new features will help revive growth to the site. Many of these features are already rolling out, including the new Retweet button, Lists, and Geolocation features.

Twitter is obviously committed to making its service better on its own Website (these numbers do not measure usage on mobile or desktop clients, which is easily half of all Twitter usage). But while it fiddles, rival Facebook keeps moving further and further ahead.

Will the new features be enough to bring back growth in the U.S.? If they don’t, Twitter’s troubles will really begin

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Sheryl Sisk - November 18, 2009 11:36 AM

Meh. It's a blip, and probably a good thing, all things considered. With any "great new app" there's always going to be an initially slow then buzz-worthy influx of early adopters, followed by rocketing growth (assuming it's a good app) and all the problems that entails. Twitter is a casebook example.

It was designed to be something other than what it's evolved into. Its architecture was never supposed to support what it's got to support now, and the service shows the effects of all that on-the-job beat-the-clock tinkering.

The recent avalanche of spamming/phishing DMs will probably only increase the little blip downwards, and that, in my book, is a good thing if it'll weed out the casual peekers, the neckcraners, the spammers, and the no-value-adders. Maybe now the signal to noise ratio will improve.

I'd caution against the forecast of doom and death, though. Didn't "they" do that with blogging, too? I keep waiting for blogging to die.

China Lawyer - November 19, 2009 1:05 AM

The problem with Twitter is that it is being oversold. There are too many people out there who act like one HAS to be on it and too many people out there who act like it is a complete waste of time for everyone. The reality is that it is great for some, good for some, and a waste of time for many. It is not going to soar but it will do just fine.

Jimmy - November 19, 2009 3:34 PM

I agree with China Lawyer.

As for the decline in visitors, since you said that the statistics don't track users of mobile or desktop applications, that may also be a key factor as more and more people move off the website interface and start to use the standalone options. I know I did.

Reply from Larry Bodine: Both Quantcase and comScore say the novelty of Twitter is over. I tend to believe the statistics. That and the fact that only 4% of law firm business clients use it. It's an empty fishing hole for new business.

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