Twitter, Facebook keep soaring as Myspace slumps

Twitter use still exploding; Facebook easily maintains top social networking market share

While Myspace Inc.'s business took a huge slide in the U.S. over the past year, use of rival Twitter Inc.'s social network simply exploded as visits to the site in September increased by 1,170% compared to year-earlier figures, according to a report released last week by Experian Hitwise, an Internet monitoring firm.

Twitter, the fourth most visited social networking site, grabbed 1.84% of the U.S. market among the top 155 social networking sites in September 2009. That's a huge increase over the same month last year when the microblogging site only had 0.15% of the market, Experian Hitwise said.

Market leader Facebook saw its already impressive market share increase by 194%, letting it easily maintain its recently attained place atop the U.S. market. Facebook, which grabbed its 300 millionth user last month, captured 58.59% of all U.S. social network visits last month, compared to 19.94% the year before.

Myspace, while still easily in second place with a 30.26% share of the U.S. market, saw the biggest slide year-over-year, reported Hitwise. Myspace share has plunged 55% from its Sept., 2008, market leading 66.84% share, according to Experian Hitwise.

Visitors to Tagged, a five-year-old social networking site, increased by 47% to take third place with a 2.38% share of the U.S. market last month. And myYearbook.com rounded out the top five with 1.05%, 40% less than last year.

Both Facebook and Twitter have been on a roll for the past year.

Online traffic tracker ComScore Inc. reported in April that the number of Twitter's U.S. visitors increased by 131% between February and March of 2009. Twitter had 9.3 million visitors in March -- 5 million more than it did in February, according to ComScore.

And in June, Nielsen Co. reported that Facebook users spent 13.9 billion minutes on the site in April, a dramatic hike from the year-earlier total of 1.7 billion minutes.

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