Archive post, written 8 May 2007.

*****

Everyone knows that everybody is twittering about Twitter these days.

From a marketing perspective this seems like quite a triumph. But what evidence is there for this and to what extent is is just twittering? Using some free tools I thought it might be rather fun to compare Second Life, the previous “most talked about” website in town, with Twitter to see what happened.

First up, numbers of links:

Pop the following URLs

http://www.twitter.com
http://twitter.com
http://www.secondlife.com
http://secondlife.com

into Social Meter (a tool that reports the number for links a URL within Bloglines, Delicious, Google, Yahoo, Rojo, Shadows, and Technorati) and you’ll get results something like these, showing Twitter clearly in front:

http://www.twitter.com234,633 links (227,594 links via Technorati)
http://twitter.com295,487 links
http://www.secondlife.com59,217 links
http://secondlife.com86,090 links (45,881 links via Technorati)

NB: To give some context to these results bbc.co.uk has a Social Meter score (ie. no. of links) of 812,959 and mySpace has a staggering score of 9,336,031.

“Buzz”

Using BlogPulse trend analyser (which monitors buzz around words and phrases) this situation is confirmed.

Twitter v Second Life

The graph shows that by 16 March 2007 the buzz within blogs about Twitter equalled and then passed the buzz around Second Life, although of late this situation has switched.

Traffic estimates of both sites are as follows:

TrafficEstimate.com estimates visits in the last 30 days for the two sites as:
Twitter – 3,467,300
Second Life – 2,512,300

Compete – Snapshot reports far more conservative figures for data up to March 2007, but shows a similar trend for visits, but with Second Life having more visitors.
Twitter – 357,057 visits, 80,043 visitors, 10.6 pages viewed per visit
Second Life – 300,315 visits, 163,354 visitors, 9.3 pages viewed per visit

Data for ranking varies widely
Ranking.com gives Twitter a rank of 21,280 and Second Life a ranking of 6,158. However, the Compete graph shows how quickly Twitter is catching Second Life up in the rankings:

Data from Alexa shows a similar pattern:

Twitter v Second Life

What to conclude?

Twitter is indeed doing rather well in embedding itself within the web, particularly the social web. From this analysis it is quite clear that since November 2006 Twitter has made remarkable gains. However, looking more closely at the numbers of visitors, which gives us an estimate of the number of regular users, Twitter is still small in global terms (and in this respect is not that dissimilar to Second Life). But it is still new, and young and yet to find a wider appeal and use.

One might also be able to conclude, that despite Second Life achieving great PR within the press and media it is still struggling to get a foothold online – perhaps almost because it has been PR’d to extinction offline? Here is where any comparisons with Twitter breakdown. Twitter has a very low point of entry whereas Second Life has a much higher point of entry, initially requiring more from the user, including computing power. This low point of entry and ease of use has enabled Twitter to quickly gain a following, even though its long term use is not quite clear (more of which in another post), many find it a fun tool to add to their social networking box, which cannot yet be said for Second Life.