Gen Y may be turning to Twitter now that Facebook's users are aging, but does their decision to embrace the micro-blogging site guarantee its future? According to comScore, figures reported on TechCrunch today, the social media site's leadership has cause for concern: Twitter's U.S. growth is stalling.
In October, the number of people who visited Twitter.com from the U.S. actually declined for the first time by 8 percent month-over-month. Estimates released today by comScore put Twitter's domestic unique visitors at 19.2 million, down from 20.9 million in September.TechCrunch says that "CEO Evan Williams recently acknowledged the slowdown in the US, and hopes that a slew of new features will help revive growth to the site." Some of these, like the new retweet button, are currently being rolled out. So what do you make of these numbers -- are they a temporary blip while everyone is out shopping for Christmas lights and cranberry sauce, or do they signal that the site's growth is fizzling?
As I said when we reported the increase in Gen Y users of Twitter, I remain a little skeptical of the breadth of the site's appeal. Sure, it's great to sell or promote something or to take the public temperature on a topic (like the street protests in Iran), but I personally haven't seen it used much for personal communication or by those not working in media or tech. Of course, my experience could be either A.) atypical or B.) irrelevant. Maybe Twitter will develop into a primarily professional platform and thrive in that niche. I'd love to hear your experiences using the site -- do you use Twitter and if so for what purpose?