In 2009, if it wasn’t happening in real time, it wasn’t happening at all. Whilst Twitter has been around a couple of years, 2009 saw mass adoption of the micro-blogging service by everyone from news channels to celebrities, self-help gurus and your mum. ComScore’s most recent statistics indicate that growth is up 949% to 80 million users, with three quarters of that user base outside the US. Twitter’s founders allegedly turned down offers from Google and Facebook, the latter of which seems suffciently threatened by Twitter’s popularity that its own interface has been redesigned to incorporate more ‘live news’ from friends and family.
Uptake of real time social media services on mobile has also been largely driven by Facebook and Twitter, with usage up 3500% in the first six months of 2009. Fascinatingly, the use of page views via linksharing services like tiny.cc and bit.ly is up 1068%, indicating that users are not only communicating activities, they’re sharing content. Despite a widely held conviction by corner office-dwellers at the mainstream media that Twitter is dominated by a cabal of lunatics compulsively communicating the components of their lunch, the service has proven itself capable of far more.