Why Twitter Doesn't Need To Worry About FriendFeed

Enough whining about Twitter’s imminent demise as “the conversation” — a phrase Internet blowhards use to describe their navel-gazing — moves to FriendFeed. (What’s FriendFeed? See here.) Despite a few hiccups, Twitter’s growth is anything but stunted, according to the latest stats from HitWise — and FriendFeed’s growth is anything but meteoric. (See that green line at the bottom?)

“Despite user complains about outages, Twitter has remained the most popular among the micro-blogging services,” says Hitwise research director Heather Dougherty. “Last week, the traffic for Twitter was 12x higher than the total traffic for Plurk and 24x higher than FriendFeed…”

To be sure, this is just one metric from one source. And HitWise only measures U.S. Web traffic to the two Web sites, so it wouldn’t include traffic to either service from text messages or API-driven apps like Twhirl. (And it’s measuring market share of visits, not absolute visits or unique visitors.)

But if FriendFeed is really growing like mad, its Web traffic should be even more exaggerated as people visit the site at least once to sign up for an account.

Moreover, if Twitter was really losing its juice and everyone was streaming out the door, shouldn’t its “returning visitors” chart look like a nosedive? Compare the traffic chart (left) to the image (right) that TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington used on June 27 when he declared Twitter conversations coming “to a screaming halt” as “users simply move to FriendFeed.” So much for that.

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