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January was an explosive month for the San Francisco-based startup. Twitter has finally joined the ranks of the top 20 websites in the US and the trend for the real-time messaging service looks promising. The messaging service has recorded enormously positive metrics in January and the company will be looking to gain even more popularity in the upcoming months. The only metric that didn’t actually increase in January was the Unique Visitor number, which Compete uses to gauge the popularity of a website. This is most likely due to increasing popularity of the mobile Twitter application, which is not included in these reports. This slight decrease also implies that the shared conversation will continue to increase in popularity in the next few months.
Why will these numbers increase in the upcoming months? Twitter users seem to be tremendously satisfied by the social application. Engagement metrics have soared in January; Average stay has risen 33% to 9:25 per session, Page Views have grown 44% to over 2 billion, and Attention has increased 42%. These are incredible improvements for an established website and are representative of 3 things.
- Twitter satisfies its users.
- People find Twitter to be incredibly engaging.
- Twitter is maturing.
The first two points are fairly obvious conclusions from the data. Twitter users like the application, and are engaged by it. The third point is a bit different. It signifies that Twitter is fulfilling its role as a social conversation and is able to meet the changing expectations from consumers. It has also been able to survive despite the well known “fail whale” (a playful image depicting overloaded servers) and its organization’s difficulties since its inception as a side project in 2006. Twitter is now reporting news faster than the Associated Press, and many news developments are posted on Twitter before any other type of media. Whitney Houston’s death was reported on Twitter 27 minutes before the Associated Press released anything pertaining to her death. Twitter is also creating tension between employers and employees as we have heard multiple stories of employees releasing critiques and complaints of their bosses on Twitter.
Twitter opens up a conversation. The tool is optimized for sharing the most recent developments and creating conversations. This can be a bit uneasy for producers at first, but ultimately it creates transparency, accountability, and honesty within organizations, even if the conversations don’t go the way employers would like. I had a firsthand view of this on Valentine’s Day. I ordered an expensive bouquet of flowers for my girlfriend that was never delivered by a certain big name company. I proceeded to tweet and directly message the company, who never delivered and had fully refunded my money the next morning. But another company, California Blooms was doing a Twitter marketing campaign specifically geared towards customers dissatisfied with big-name companies and stepped in to give me a free bouquet of flowers to send to my girlfriend that Friday. All of this occurred over Twitter. Now California Blooms will have my business in the years to come because they capitalized on my conversation with the big name company, which they weren’t even a part of. This is the kind of honesty, speed, and direct communication that Twitter forces (for better or worse) upon its users.
Bottom line: Expect more disruptive growth from Twitter in the months to come.