The report that Twitter has beaten Digg in a website ranking generated by Hitwise has spread like wildfire and provided Twitter proponents with the argument that the micro blogging website has finally become mainstream.
But look closer and you will see that figures could indeed be confusing. First, a few websites have reported that the site's usage rocketed by nearly 1000 percent referring to its rank. That is not entirely true as the original report was referring to UK internet traffic only (not global) and a rank is relative not absolute absolute.
Just to put the record straight. UK Traffic to Twitter went from a fraction above 0.0025 percent to 0.025 percent, a rise of 974 percent. A jump from 2953rd to 291st is an improvement of 2662 ranks and unless there is a scale, there is no way of comparing two ranks.
Secondly, Hitwise is only one of the many online companies which offer services related to web analytics. Alexa, Google, Quantcast and Compete also offer free and open services which allow you to extract data related to website ranking and popularity.
Using a tool called Attentionmeter.com, we can see that Digg.com in general is bigger than Twitter.com although the difference varies depending on the reporting service. For example, Twitter ranks 599 on Alexa while Digg.com is 284 on the same scale. Hence, who delivers the data is as important as the data itself.
Third and probably the more pertinent is the fact that Twitter and Digg have little in common. In fact, Twitter has more in common with Facebook probably than with Digg. The latter is a news aggregator with a pinch of social features. Twitter is a micro-blogging website which has spawned a number of third party services, one of which could turn out to be a Digg competitor. But on the face of it, Twitter is no more a Digg rival than Google is.
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Twitter was ranked 23rd in the Social Networking section in Hitwise's section. Coming at number 6 was Nasza Klassa, a Polish social networking website popular with Poles in UK. At number 7 was Ebay owned classified ads network Gumtree.com while Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert forum came in number 10.
Twitter website sees ten-fold rise in visitors