Facebook and Google+ may be the top two social networking websites in the world but it is the micro-blogging site Twitter, which has seen the fastest growth. According to Global Web Index (GWI), the same company that rated Google+ second largest social networking service, says Twitter grew 40 percent in the second half of 2012 to 288 million active subscribers. The figures, the GWI says, marks a staggering growth rate in active users of 714 percent since July 2009.
“Contrary to popular perception, Twitter has always been more of a niche social network in most countries around the world. In our first wave of research in July 2009, we estimated that Twitter had just 35.47 million monthly active users across the markets covered at the time. Twitter, however, is shaking off that niche status with impressive style, and as we being 2013, it is the fastest growing social platform on the planet,” says GWI in its report.
The report further says that about 36 percent of the global Internet population have an account, equal to 485 million 16 to 65 years olds by GWI estimates. “If we compare this to Q2 2012, we saw global Twitter account penetration at 32 percent, or 408 million, meaning growth in accounts was slower than that of active users in the period. Crucially for Twitter and its advertisers, this shows that Twitter is doing a great job in driving active engagement with 59 percent of account holders now active on a monthly basis, up from 50 percent in Q2 2012.”
The GWI report also sheds light on what Twitter’s impressive growth means for brands. The report says active Twitter usage ranges from 6 percent of the Internet users in Germany as compared to 51 percent in Saudi Arabia. “That’s not to say that it is not relevant in Germany but that it impacts the nature of the target audience who are active and the type of brands for which it would be relevant. All of this, of course, is dependent on running detailed analysis of your target audience and the local market context,” adds the report.
In a separate post, the GWI clarifies that growth of Google+does not mean decline in popularity of Twitter or Facebook.
“While many comments in the discussion found in Google+ referenced G+ growth with decline in Facebook and Twitter, this is not the case and was not the big story in our latest release. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are all growing substantially (Twitter was actually the fastest) and at the expense of local players. G+ was number two in our Q2 data set as well, contrary to the reports that have gone out this weekend,” clarifies the company.