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When talking about the micro-messaging service Twitter, a lot of people recently have gotten hung up on its mainstream appeal — or lack thereof. I’ve argued that if current trends continue, this will come eventually (though I’ve also argued it doesn’t really matter for the service to be useful). Today, some data from Compete suggests the same thing.

For U.S. visitors, traffic has almost doubled from February to April alone. The service is now pulling in nearly 1.2 million people per month. Twitter is growing very fast, and just as we’ve noted, Compete believes Twitter’s recent coverage in the mainstream press (for events like helping the American student get out of jail in Egypt and coverage of the China earthquake) is helping to fuel this growth.

Some other interesting notes from Compete’s report:

  • Time on Twitter versus time online overall has more than quadrupled in that short span.
  • A lot more users use Twitter during weekdays then weekend (hence the valleys in the graph above.)
  • Almost one quarter of Twitter users are considered “heavy” (6+ visits a month — which really doesn’t seem all that heavy, for me at least.)
  • Twitter users are 10% more likely to be male than the average Internet user.
  • Twitter usage is definitely highest in the college/twenty-something age group.

If this kind of growth keeps up, at what point do we consider Twitter mainstream? Of course, Twitter has to stay up long enough for this to happen.

update: A Max from Compete notes in a comment below, they tweaked their “heavy usage” definition because many heavy users use different apps/sites to use Twitter (which Compete doesn’t track). That is very true, I think I’m in the minority as a heavy user who uses the main site almost exclusively.

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