Alan Long

Oprah may be America's Tweetheart, but she doesn't make the earth move Downunder!

Twiiter's growth in Australia is outstripping international markets. Influenced by natural disasters, world events, elections and now celebrities the growth has accelerated dramatically in the past month and a half.

My colleague in the US, Heather Hopkins recently covered the blaze of publicity around Oprah Winfrey starting to tweet and its immediate impact on Twitter’s US share of visits. In Australia the influences seem to be broader than America’s new 'tweetheart’.

In Australia the growth of Twitter has been nothing short of phenomenal;

  • 49.9% growth in the past month (comparing 21/04/2009 vs. 22/03/2009)
  • 1067.3% since the start of the 2009 (comparing 21/04/2009 vs. 01/01/2009)
  • 3,220.7% annual growth (comparing 21/04/2009 vs. 22/04/2008).

On Sunday 19 April 2009, Twitter became the 37th most visited website by Australian Internet users, breaking into the top 40 Australian websites for the first time on the back of a 3.9% rise in share, coinciding with Oprah’s first tweet. Twitter- Australian Share of Visits Growth













The largest single day of growth experienced by Twitter this year was 22 March 2009, when share of visits grew by 89.3% over the previous day. It was a day after the Queensland Election and four days after the second of the Melbourne earth tremors.

In Australia a number of celebrities were included in searches for ‘twitter’, representing 38% of the top 50 ‘twitter’ search variations for week ending 18 April 2009.

Ashton Kutcher and his challenge to be the first Twitterer to have one million followers received considerable news coverage. In the days leading up Kutcher passing the million follower mark, Twitter’s share of daily visits increased by 10.6% (16/4/2009) and 6.22% (17/4/2009). Oprah could only move Twitter’s Australian share by 2.46% (18/4/2009).

Lindsay Lohan however, with her much publicised relationship split, had the strongest association with Twitter compared to other celebrities, with 0.65% of Twitter-related search terms (week ending 18/04/2009), followed by Kutcher (0.51%), Miley Cyrus (0.35%) and Australia’s Hugh Jackman (0.22%).

Twitter a truly global phenomenon

In other markets, Twitter has a growth pattern similar to the US and UK, highlighting that Twitter is a truly global phenomenon.

Twitter increased its share in New Zealand 305.5% since the start of the year (1/01/2009), and on 21 April 2009 ranked at 49 amongst all websites (up from 206).

In Singapore, Twitter moved up 239 positions to a rank of 65 amongst all websites with an increase in share of visits of 333.3% since the 1/01/2009.

Hong Kong is lagging by comparison to the other Asia Pacific markets the US and UK, as can be seen from the chart below, but has moved up 373 places since 1/01/2009 to currently stand at the 198th most visited website in Hong Kong on 21/04/2009 with a share of visits increase of 198.1%.

Global Comparison - Twitter Daily Growth YTD 2009










Click here to view large version of chart.

It is interesting to note that large jumps in share of visits have been sparked by a variety of events and news items at different times over the past three months. However, Ashton Kutcher and Oprah seem to have had an impact in all countries in mid April.

For statistical comparison the Twitters share of visits in the US and UK, as at 21/4/2009, have grown 570.03% and 621.3% respectively since 1/01/2009 improving its ranking position by 324 spots in the US and 305 spots in the UK.

It is interesting to note that Entertainment / Celebrity brands have embraced Twitter as a communication and connection tool, yet many consumer facing brands have yet to understand the opportunity and accept the challenge of direct interaction with consumers. Props to those businesses that are active and learning.

Follow all of our updates on Twiiter - Hitwise_AP


Posted by Portz Interactive, 5 May 2009

I am not at all surprised by the rapid growth of Twitter. Each day I find myself using it for longer periods and increasingly speaking about my finds in conversations with friends. However I am amazed to find myself continuously discovering new ways of using Twitter. My learning primarily stems from others I have started following whether it is for professional reasons or simply because of a personal interest to follow the tweets of a person or company. I also find great value in being able to track the opinions of others in real time on a given topic and can see a strong resemblance to the early days of the web prior to the automated search engines where people would just enjoy ‘surfing’ the sporadic and random interaction of an online community which does not exactly mirror the people and brands in the offline world.


Alan Long Alan Long
Company: Online1984
Position: General Manager
Alan Long is the General Manager of The Online Circle's Social Media Analysis and Insight business - Online 1984. He heads a team of analysts and developers to deliver clients with behavioural insights based on observed activity. With an extensive media career Alan is one of the most respected authorities on Internet communication in Australia Read Alan's full bio

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