Twitter may be the social-networking service du-jour - and the best way to track the daily movement of your favourite celebrities - but until now the site has lagged behind the competition in terms of monthly visitors.
According to data from comScore (courtesy of the Wall Street Journal), though, the micro-blogging service has overtaken MySpace to become the third-largest player in social-networking. The research suggests that Twitter had almost 96 million unique visitors in August, showing an increase of 76 per cent compared to last year. News Corp owned MySpace fared significantly worse during the same period, losing around 17 per cent of its audience and dropping to around 95 million unique monthly visitors.
Of course, the numbers may not be entirely accurate, as Twitter is likely to have far more users than those that visit the site. Third-party programs such as TweetDeck and Tweetie have become very popular, though the recent redesign of the site is expected to draw users back to Twitter.com. However, recent problems such as the ‘onmouseover' flaw may hurt the site's growth, albeit temporarily.
Twitter spokeperson Carolyn Penner commented that, "while we generally don't comment on third-party statistics, the growth measured by others doesn't surprise us. We're seeing 370,000 new accounts a day".
Predictably, Facebook is still king of the social-networks, growing by more than 50 per cent year-on-year to reach 598 million unique visitors in August. Sat comfortably in second place is Microsoft's Windows Live Profile with 140 million monthly visitors - an increase of around 10 per cent over the same period in 2009.