Yes, you read the headline correctly. According to comScore and as reported by TechCrunch yesterday, Twitter now has more unique visitors each month than The New York Times and the gap appears to be widening (click chart for larger view):
In February, 2009 Twitter drew less than 10 million monthly unique visitors. […] Fast-forward to April, and Twitter’s global unique visitors was a whopping 32 million, up from 19 million in March, 2009. To put that in growth into perspective, Twitter has just passed Digg (23 million), LinkedIn (16 million), and the NYTimes.com (17.5 million) in monthly unique visitors, as counted by comScore. And comScore only measures the number of people who visit Twitter’s Website, not the millions more who send and read tweets via their phones, desktop apps, or other Websites.
Now I’m all for crowd-sourced/user-generated information. It provides an adjunct to reporting from mainstream news organizations who have held the upper hand for too long and, whether by omission or commission, have overlooked or under reported stories that need to be told. Still, call me old school if you wish but I find it a little disturbing that a stream of 140-character user-generated “stories” has outpaced one of the country’s leading newspapers. Isn’t life just is a little more complicated than brief bleats of data into the Twitosphere?
Perhaps not. Seems that in some circumstances 140 characters is all it takes to make a real difference. To whit, not only has Twitter traffic overtaken The New York Times online, but according to the following report just in from CNN, Twitter has trumped at least one 911 emergency dispatch service as well. So love it or hate it, it looks like there’s no turning back. Welcome to the Twitter age!