Twitter logo Twitter Peaks To Media Overkill, Is Real Time Search Dead?Last month I pointed out that Twitter’s growth rate had slowed from 76% in March to 39% in April according to Compete. Compete statistics that were recently released show that Twitter’s unique visitor traffic growth for May was stagnant at a mere 1%. To make matters worse, Quantcast has Twitter actually losing traffic in May. This should be of serious concern for Twitter and its investors as the life of Twitter’s recent popularity is still in its infancy despite arguably receiving more media hype than any web service to date.

twitter unique visitor traffic stats compete may 2009 Twitter Peaks To Media Overkill, Is Real Time Search Dead?

Twitter Traffic Growth Is Nonexistent

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twitter traffic statistics quantcast may 2009 Twitter Peaks To Media Overkill, Is Real Time Search Dead?

Twitter's Visitor Traffic For May 2009 Is Down

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It’s quite possible that the intense barrage of media coverage has turned everyone off to tweeting their little hearts out. One thing is for sure, the disappointing traffic stats aren’t for a lack of pushing Twitter. After all, it received tons of free media coverage on nationally televised major network shows and national advertising campaigns such as Sprint’s where they proudly pimped Twitter on their mobile network. Stunts like Ashton Kutcher’s challenge with CNN to race for a million followers and a followup ding-dong-ditch dare with Ted Turner elevated the public’s awareness of Twitter. Oh, and let’s not forget the Larry King Live Twitter feature where millions of people watched Ashton Kutcher, Sean Combs, and Jimmy Fallon slobber all over Twitter as they announced the Malaria Day campaign that utilized retweets to drive fundraising. In contrast, Oprah’s Twitter featured show was a big disappointment for some but nearly every media source covered it anyway. Perhaps the most entertaining and yet damaging piece was Conan’s spoof on The Tonight Show that aired recently. The video below points out just how useless twittering can be at times and it effectively pokes fun at the overinflated celebrity hype that helps drive Twittermania.

So what’s left for Twitter to do? Well, they can’t rightly turn up the marketing volume when it’s already been maxed out. And to make matters worse the stickiness of tweeting itself is now being called into question. With media overkill and such high user attrition rates, things aren’t looking so Twitterific anymore. Especially for Twitter’s investors who aren’t going to be too happy with Twitter executives if indeed Twitter ends up losing traffic for the month of June. I’m sure Evan Williams is at least second guessing that rumored ~$250 million offer from Google and the valued $500 million he was offered from Facebook back in April.

I genuinely don’t mean to come off so negative against Twitter. Rather I’m just starting to wonder if everyone, including myself, has been caught up in Twittermania believing that the messiah of online communication was going to deliver real-time search for us. It’s quite possible that we’ve all been so enamored by Twitter that we forgot about the huge number of active users it takes to generate useful real-time search results. If Twitter’s user base is indeed beginning to dwindle, what’s going to become of real-time search and exactly how useful are those search results going to be?

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