Is Record-Setting Traffic Good Enough for Facebook and Twitter?

Let’s be realistic: traffic is not a true indicator of a company’s success, even in the internet space. Rather, financial measures are. Yet, traffic is unavoidable. The ability to bring eyeballs and interaction to a social media platform is the foundation for all revenue streams, from small transactions to advertising. So, it bodes well for Facebook and Twitter that their traffic numbers surged last month.

According to a TechCrunch post on published by the Washington Post, comScore reports record traffic for both Facebook and Twitter, as measured by US monthly unique visitors. Facebook hit 162 mn by this measure, up from 160.8 mn in June and 157.2 mn in May. Twitter had its best month ever – in five years of existence – picking up 32.8 mn US unique visitors last month, a jump from 30.6 mn the month before and 27 mn in May.

For both companies, this is half the equation. As they presumably march toward their respective liquidity events, with Facebook‘s likely more imminent than Twitter’s, the two hot social media companies will have to demonstrate that they can attract, retain and grow audiences for the long run, no easy task when they are already so large. Then, of course, they will have to demonstrate that they can turn these eyeballs into diversified revenue streams (as LinkedIn has done).

Currently, Facebook relies on advertising for the bulk of its bucks and is expected to generate around 90 per cent of its 2011 from that stream. Twitter, which came later to the advertising game, had a decent revenue stream from data licensing, but the company has grown significantly since then, and it looks as though it’s really betting the future on the advertising model, which includes promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends.

The pickup in traffic is a positive sign for both companies, but before they celebrate their respective opening bells, both will have to show that they can turn visibility into dollars.

Source: Washington Post

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