As the news spotlight shone brightly on Twitter yesterday â€“ the company announced a new injection of $100 million in more venture funding â€“ market researcher Hitwise published some new stats about Twitterâ€™s growth.
Hitwiseâ€™s data, measuring visits in the US to the Twitter website â€“ which accounts for some 90% of all Twitter visits â€“ shows a falling-off in visits since June. The company’s hypothesis is that â€œslowing and now decreasing market share of visits may be attributable to the drop in new users.â€ Their post has a number of other charts to support that view.
What interested me mostly about Hitwiseâ€™s report is that it shows only visits directly to the Twitter website, not taking into account use by people using third-party applications or use on a mobile device.
I think thatâ€™s a significant aspect of any metrics about Twitter, whether itâ€™s the number of new users, usage habits of existing users, user demographics, etc. In April, I speculated that the real number of Twitter users is three times more than any published metrics because of what may be likely in usage of the service on mobile devices.
Of course, that was just a SWAG with no facts to back it up, just hunches. The number I came up with was 60 million. Well, if total number of people now is about 45 million who visit the Twitter website, multiply that by three to include mobile and you come to 135 million.
Is that a realistic and believable number, or purely a flight of fancy? Who knows.
No one seems to be reliably measuring the use of Twitter on mobile devices. More importantly, any trends in mobile device usage with media like Twitter: is it increasing? Falling off? What about particular platforms? And applications?
Isnâ€™t anyone doing that?