Growth in U.S. traffic to Facebook is far outpacing that of Twitter, according to data from Nielsen. The measurement firm estimates unique visits to Facebook grew by 69 percent between March 2009 and March 2010 compared with growth of 45 percent to Twitter during the same period.
It’s essential to note, however, that a large portion of Twitter traffic does not come via its Web site, but rather through third-party applications such as TweetDeck. As a result, the data does not necessarily give a precise portrayal of its growth in relation to its rivals in the space.
Meanwhile, visits to MySpace continued to contract during the 12-month period, with its loss of audience increasing in speed compared with 2009 vs. 2008 numbers. Business-focused network LinkedIn and Classmates Online also experienced contractions in unique users during that period.
Globally, Nielsen estimates the audience for social networking grew by around 16.5 percent, year-over-year, reaching a total of 313 million users in March 2010.