During the week ending February 7, Twitter became one of the 100 most visited websites in the UK for the first time. Hitwise ranked it 91st within All Categories, placing above online heavyweights such as Expedia UK (96), Gumtree (100), easyJet (101), Digital Spy (103) and MoneySupermarket (105).
Twitter traffic has already more than trebled in 2009. There was a noticeable increase in visits following the media attention generated by the likes of Stephen Fry (owner of the world's second favourite Twitter feed after Barack Obama) and Jonathan Ross.
Over the past 12 months traffic to Twitter.com has increased 27 fold. As Hitwise is only measuring traffic to the Twitter website, if people accessing their Twitter accounts via mobile phones and third-party applications (such as Twitterrific, Twitterfeed and Tweetdeck) were included, the numbers may even be higher.
One of the reasons for Twitter's success is the ‘eco-system' of sites and applications that it has created via its open API. One of the most notable is Twitpic, which essentially allows users to upload pictures to their Twitter profiles. The site ranked seventh in the ‘Entertainment - Photography' category up from 26th a month ago. Twitpic is still small in comparison to Flickr and Photobucket, but is growing rapidly. UK Internet traffic to the site has increased more than five fold already this year.