Twitter and Bing: A cold September
For two of the Web’s newest sensations, September was not a good month.
The robust growth that Twitter and Microsoft’s Bing search engine enjoyed in recent months appeared to come to an abrupt halt last month.
Twitter, the microblogging service cherished by everyone from Shaq to Al Gore, saw its growth stall in September — at least in terms of U.S. visitors to its Web site.
The number of unique visitors to Twitter’s site in the U.S. reached 20.89 million in September – virtually flat compared to the 20.83 million visitors the month before, according to the latest comScore data.
As the blog TechCrunch pointed out on Tuesday, Twitter’s flat September came as Facebook, the world’s No.1 Internet social network, lured more than 3 million additional unique visitors to its site that month.
Of course, Twitter’s growth is still up a whopping 1,703 percent on a year-over-year basis. And the comScore numbers don’t tell the whole story, since many Twitter users access the service through third-party applications and thus would not be counted as unique visitors to the Twitter site.
But in the wake of the $100 million funding that Twitter recently secured at a $1 billion valuation, the new data is sure to raise questions about whether the service has peaked.
Questions are also probably in the air at Microsoft, as the software giant’s efforts to take on Google in search appear to be losing steam.
After picking up decent market share every month since its June launch, Bing grew its share by a meagre 10 basis points last month. According to comScore, Bing’s share of the U.S. search market grew to 9.4 percent, versus 9.3 percent the month before.
Google widened its lead to 64.9 percent share, from 64.6 percent in August, while Yahoo fell to 18.8 percent from 19.3 percent the month before.
For Bing, gaining 10 basis points is better than losing ground, which is what StatCounter, another Web measurement service had claimed happened to Bing in September.
But after spending a reported $100 million to market Bing, Microsoft may now need to find new ways to pump up interest in its search engine.