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Twitter Search

June 3, 2009

Just a bit more food for thought after my last post.


Micro Persuasion

Steve Rubel

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Visits to Twitter Search Soar, Indicating Social Search Has Arrived

Twitter’s growth over the last several months has been well chronicled. But there’s another story line here that’s even more interesting – visits to Twitter Search are also soaring.

According to data from visits to the Twitter search page grew more than 400% in the last six months. This sub-domain alone recorded 2.7M unique visitors in April, up from just shy of 536,000 in October. Even more remarkable, traffic to the site, which is tucked away, grew 24% in April.

Twitter Search Traffic Stats

The data closely mirrors the overall growth of Twitter, which saw unique visitors increase from 3.4M in October to 19.4M in April. However, the search subdomain seems to be following its own trend line.

Visits to Twitter Search Soar

There’s more. Now that Twitter has added search functionality into the main interface, the data doesn’t account for the full spectrum of users that might be executing queries off the main page. In addition, the data doesn’t accurately account for the power users who are searching Twitter from inside clients like Seesmic Desktop, Tweetdeck or Tweetie.

However, I think there’s something fundamentally new that’s going on here: more technically savvy users (and one would assume this includes journalists) are searching Twitter for information. Presumably this is in a tiny way eroding searches from Google. Mark Cuban, for example, is one who is getting more traffic to his blog from Twitter and Facebook than Google.

For over a year now I have been saying that social search could be disruptive to Google. It seems now that, for some, habits are beginning to shift. I know that on Easter Sunday when I wanted to find out if my local Walmart store was open (Walmart is an Edelman client), Twitter Search was the fastest way to find out.

As long as it can maintain its community, search will remain pivotal to Twitter’s future and probably one of the first places it will monetize. But the bigger story here is that some users are clearly getting value out of searching social content…

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