Twitter Moves Into Top 50 US Websites

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It may not be clear how Twitterwill ever make money, but its growth is not in doubt. The microblogging website is now among the 50 largest internet properties in the US according to new data from comScore covering August web traffic.

Twitter took the N0. 46 place with an extraordinary audience of 20.8 million unique visitors. That makes it roughly the same size as all the sites of Gannett (GCI), the country’s largest newspaper chain, combined.

Twitter is growing fast enough that it may only be a matter of time, and perhaps a very short time, until it is the size of News Corp’s (NWS) MySpace. Total Fox Interactive unique visitors in August were 77.5 million. Some of these visitors were to the Fox websites. Fox is a unit of News Corp. But, most of the Fox traffic was to its MySpace operation which is, by most accounts, is no longer growing. MySpace rival Facebook had unique visitors of 92.2 million putting it in the N0. 5 spot among all US sites.

There is still a very legitimate question about how Twitter will make money. It is considering putting ads into the messages that its members send to one another. This may cause a revolt among users which could cut the traffic to the service. All social networks face a similar problem. Their members believe that they should control the rules of how the services are used. The lunatics run the asylum and that is hard on the jailers.

Douglas A. McIntyre