Twitter gets more press than Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and maybe even Google

We know Twitter is getting a lot of press these days, but how much? And how much media attention are they getting compared to other hugely popular sites and companies like Facebook, YouTube and Google? Read on to find out.
To help us out, there is a very handy little graph that we can examine in Google Trends called the “news reference volume.” It shows how often a term (for example “Twitter”) shows up in stories on Google News. This means that you can get a pretty good idea of how much press a certain company or website is getting.
A quick look in Google Trends confirms how strong Twitter’s media presence has become in 2009. The first thing you notice is the enormous boost compared to previous years (Twitter launched in 2006). It’s like a race car accelerating.

That in itself is impressive, but it gets even more interesting when you start comparing it with other big Web properties like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and even Google and Yahoo. And just for fun, we threw in Microsoft’s new search contender, Bing, and Microsoft itself.
All the graphs below show the news reference volume over the last 12 months.
(As you can see, all the graphs show a downturn at the very end, which seems to be a side effect of how Google generates its graphs, not an actual downturn.)

Compared with Facebook

Compared with MySpace

Compared with YouTube

Compared with Yahoo

Compared with Bing

Compared with Microsoft

Compared with Google

A few observations

You can read some very interesting information from this data. Here are a some observations based on the graphs above:

  • Bing hasn’t received anywhere near the media attention that Twitter has.
  • Twitter passed Yahoo sometime in February-March in terms of media attention. Judging by the graph, Twitter is now getting 2-3 times as much press as Yahoo.
  • Twitter caught up with Facebook in March, and has has had more press than Facebook since late May.
  • Twitter gets more than twice as much press as YouTube, which it passed in February, and 3-4 times as much as MySpace, which it passed around the same time.
  • Twitter is even neck and neck with Google, sometimes even passing it. Same thing with Microsoft.

According to a recent report, Twitter is getting the equivalent of $48 million worth of free PR per month, counting the value of mentions in TV, newspapers and magazines. The same survey says that Twitter gets even more media coverage than Google. Not a small feat. It’s something that most companies can only dream of (including us here at Pingdom).
It’s impossible to deny the massive buzz surrounding Twitter, which in turn means that Twitter gets a lot of free press. It has surely been a big factor in Twitter’s rapid growth, and we hope that Twitter manages to take full advantage of all that media attention.
The question now is: Can Twitter keep this up? Can they reach even higher?


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