1. The statistics are interesting, inasmuch as they reinforce the casual observation that Twitter usage is growing massively. But the analysis quoted is shite.

    1. The grandly-titled “Hitwise Session Duration data” doesn’t tell us how a “session” is defined. I leave a web browser window open on Twitter for my entire waking day, but look at it only occasionally — just like I have a window looking out on the street, but I’m only looking at the passing traffic and chatting with the neighbours occasionally. How is this measured and reported?

    2. The “Hitwise Lifestyle Similarity Tool” ignores people’s individuality and the highly granular-but-interconnected nature of the Twitterverse and tries to interpret the patterns in the same old mass-media way. “Brands that attracted a close audience fit with Twitter included ING Australia, AMP My Portfolio, Bankrate, and Virgin Money Australia”? Bullshit. I’ve never used them, and doubtless never will, despite being one of the nation’s most prolific twitterers.. More subtlety required.

    3. How can anyone possibly measure this stuff to 5 significant figures? Bah!

    It’s also depressing to see that all they see Twitter as is a “marketing channel”. Look! People are using Twitter a lot, so let’s poke our faces in and talk at them. Sod off the lot of you.

    My take?

    The figures support the notion that given the tools and the opportunity, people would much rather talk amongst themselves about what they’re interested in than passively consume pre-packaged “entertainment” and marketing messages. I’d call that “social media” and drop the word salience here, but I don’t want to pander to you or Mark Pesce’s egos yet again. 😉

  2. Actually, another point pisses me off: automatically describing any significant or increasing usage as “addictive”. That’s tabloid value-judgement misuse of a word with a specific meaning.

    Is there any actual evidence that “addiction” is taking place — you know, with “dependence” and “withdrawal” and all the other signifiers? No, not in your data. That’d require a very different kind of study.

    Do marketers really want to encourage addiction? Then go work in an industry with better ethical standards. Go sell meth to children.

  3. Hi Laurel,

    We’re tracking web visits only – in regards to your question in regards to reloading the page – A ‘visit’ is defined as “A series of one or more page requests by a visitor without 30 consecutive minutes of inactivity.”

    When measuring the average time per visit, we take the “The elapsed time from the first to the last page request that constitutes a visit, adding the average time per page for such a visit.”

    These are IAB defined metrics. If you or your readers have further questions ping me at sandra.hanchard at hitwise.com


  4. Twitter is used in almost every country on this globe, including in the countries down under. This time I will share some figures concerning the twitosphere in Australia.Using the same approach as for the previous countries, I managed to find 3641 active Twitter accounts from Australia. A Twitter account was considered to be held by someone from Australia if the location explicitely refers to Australia or if the Twitter user was located in Australia according to one of the Twitter mapping mashups. The actual number of Australian Twitter users is probably higher as only 50% of the Twitter users specify their location in their profile.



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