This is a monthly series that looks at visitor data for all the major social networks as calculated by Compete.com. Compete is USA-biased, and certainly in the case of Twitter the visitor numbers are distorted by the openness of Twitter’s API and the numerous Twitter software clients, but on a like-for-like basis the numerics have value and warrant investigation. Please refer to previous installments in this series for a more detailed overview.
After several months of flat to negative growth, social media saw something of a rebound in December, according to figures released by Compete.com.
Twitter posted a +1.45% gain on unique visitors, to 22,808,321, and 133,636,767 visits overall. This was the first uptick for Twitter since August of this year, and that month remains the network’s peak.
Facebook also saw gains, adding +2.95%, or 132,130,132 unique visits, and 2,712,334,571 overall. This is a new all-time high for Facebook, and followed a dip of almost half a percent in November.
Twitter link aggregator Tweetmeme continued it’s incredible growth, adding +6.89% in December, to 1,268,501 unique visitors, and 3,503,804 overall.
LinkedIn had the best net gain month-to-month, adding +2.84% to 14,879,386 uniques, and 51,215,574 overall, and now closes in on the October highs.
MySpace enjoyed a modest rebound, adding +1.53% uniques to 49,326,638, and a still-impressive 554,221,540 overall.
Even Plurk saw decent growth in December, grabbing back +10.90% of unique visitors, to 224,160, and 824,941 overall.
Meanwhile, Friendfeed lost a sizeable -12.46% of visitors, registering only 483,329 uniques in December, and just over one million overall. Friendfeed has now lost more than half of all visitor traffic since the August 2009 highs, and unless new owners Facebook make a bold attempt to re-energise the flagging aggregator, it seems probable that it won’t be around this time next year.
It’s too early to say if this modest rebound on social media traffic is the start of something more significant, or simply a dead cat bounce. Moreover, as mentioned Compete.com data has a large USA-bias, and does not include usage of Twitter in external clients, such as TweetDeck and Seesmic Desktop.
Indeed, globally Twitter appears to be zooming in on the peaks seen earlier in the year, and it will be interesting to see if 2010 means the start of another huge uptrend in social media traffic, similar to that witnessed throughout most of 2009.