The eminent social networking website and micro blogging giant Twitter Inc. had been trying to make a paradigm shift in the perception of worldwide consumers, into being known as an information network and not just a social network. Their efforts at rebranding seem to have paid off, if statistics are to be believed. VentureBeat spoke to Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter at the Aspen Ideas Festival discussing the changes in Twitter’s search query statistics. Mr. Stone claimed an astonishing increase in the number of search queries routed through Twitter every day. With glowing figures like 800 million such search queries coming through every single day, Twitter seems to be giving other more popular search engines a run for their status and money. This figure translates to a whopping 24 billion searches in a month. What is astounding is the fact that when these figures are compared to Twitter search query figures of last April, the numbers are up by a 33% margin. Such an increase is a rare occurrence and gives a boost to the interests of the company. This statistic should also serve to appease all the critics who questioned the activity levels of Twitter and wondered if it had run its final leg already.
Google Still Leading
The market is, however firmly led by Google which sees a mind boggling 88 billion search queries in a month. It cannot be denied however that Twitter seems to be catching up quickly. It has already out stripped Microsoft’s Bing and the information giant Yahoo to be ranked second in the list of major search engines. These findings are based on comparison of statistics with comScore’s numbers of December 2009.
The fact that comScore hasn’t considered Twitter important enough to be monitored and adjudged needs to be considered. Perhaps one reason for this is that these search queries do not originate at Twitter itself. Most of them come from API calls which are, in essence, a system through which any searches run through partners are diverted to Twitter from where this information and its components are sent back to the partners. So searches conducted on third party partners like Seesmic, TweetDeck and even search enabled widgets placed strategically in other websites, would eventually end up as statistics for Twitter search queries.
A Billion Search Queries?
Twitter’s Doug Cook, employed as Director of Search, has been quoted extensively when he stated that he expects Twitter to support around 1 billion search queries in any given day sometime in the near future. Whether this presumption comes true is yet to be seen. Twitter has a versatile and effective advertising strategy which works on the repeated appearance of sponsored tweets and uploads right on top of all its results. This continued exposure can only garner revenue for this growing information network. Irrespective of the routing of search queries, the mere fact that Twitter is capable of supporting such a large input and subsequent output of information is commendable, establishes the dependability of the company and goes a long way in changing consumer perception of the network.