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Jun 28, 2009

Has Twitter Displaced Search, Portals, and News? The New Portal to News?

Michael Jackson, Twitter and TMZ

Following the tragic death of Michael Jackson last night, UK Internet visits to his homepage increased 17 fold. Yesterdaywww.michaeljackson.com was the 9th most visited Music website in the UK, and the highest ranked artist homepage.

TMZ, the website that originally broke the story, picked up 1 in every 1,100 UK Internet visits yesterday, making it the 73rd most visited website overall. Given that the site usually ranks somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 in the UK, this was a 20-fold increase in visits.

Of course, the subject is dominating conversations on Twitter and – as the chart below illustrates – the micro-blogging service had its busiest every day in the UK yesterday. That the spike wasn’t quite as huge as may be expected is probably due to the fact that news broke so late UK time. Given the time difference, my guess is that my US colleagues will have some more representative stats that show the true impact later today.

Twittering the Iran Election

Following the elections that took place in Iran on June 12, Twitter has become one of the most popular mediums for distributing information about the protests. Daily visits to Twitter.com (excludes mobile & desktop applications) increased 13% on June 12th as compared to the previous Friday and traffic jumped 23% Wednesday, June 17th from news and photos of the massive rallies taking place in Iran.

twitter DMS.png

Among all of the search terms driving traffic to Twitter.com in the US, ‘iran election’ ranked #13 out of 4,303 last week. Conversely, Twitter.comreceived the highest share of clicks from queries for ‘iran election’, one of the most common hashtags for the coverage, even ranking aboveGoogle News.

iran election small.png

In addition to Twitter, YouTube has also become another outlet for news as video coverage of the protest activities have been uploaded. The popularity of both Twitter and YouTube showcase the ability to disseminate information when many major news outlets are unable.

Downstream Iran small.png

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