Twitter’s UK growth takes off

Traffic to the micro-blogging site Twitter has increased ten-fold in the UK from the beginning of last year, according to Hitwise.

For the week ending 17 January, Twitter now ranks as the 291st more visited website in the UK, up from a ranking of 2,953 in January last year. UK internet traffic has increased by a staggering 974 per cent over this period.

This only counted traffic going to the main Twitter website, and not mobile phones and third-party applications like Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck.

The average amount of time that people spend on has also trebled from less than 10 minutes a year ago to half an hour.

Most traffic on Twitter comes from the US, but penetration is greater in the UK market. It now makes up 0.024 per cent of all Internet visits, which is higher than 0.020 in the US.

At the beginning of the year, Twitter was in the headlines for the wrong reasons when account holders, including Stephen Fry, fell victim to a phishing attack.

Just afterwards, a teenage hacker managed to take over celebrity accounts by breaking into Twitter's internal systems, using password-breaking software.

Reports also suggested Twitter was in acquisition talks with Facebook last year.

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