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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 29, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    So what effect do Twitter referrals have on traffic to news sites? Next to none, apparently

    Hugh Linehan

    It may seem strange or counter-intuitive to people like myself, who increasingly find themselves using Twitter as their preferred source of referrals and feeds for news content, reportage, opinion and analysis from media sites around the world, but new research from the European internet monitor AT Internet Institute shows that Twitter’s impact on news traffic in France is minuscule – only 0.1 per cent of referrals. Facebook is responsible for 1.3 per cent of traffic.

    As PaidContent.org points out, these figures for Twitter are not dissimilar from those in the States, although Facebook has more referring power there.

    It’s a well-known fact that journalists love Twitter for its speed, its brevity and its openness – it’s a gossip’s dream. But I wonder is it possible that their enthusiasm for the platform causes them to over estimate its importance in the media landscape?

    • The Slog says:

      I’m sure it does, but the French internet is odd (as with all things Gallic) because there are very few free news sites.

      As a news provider and analysis hack, my main beef with Twitter is the very poor quality of visitor you get. Any word in the piece of more than two syllables, and they never come back.


    • paul m says:

      I think its early days for twitter yet, despite its high speed impact on communication. High profile non monosylabic twitter users (Stephen Fry being the most notable i can think of, TD ‘the gob’ gogarty the most notorious Irish user ) are helping to sell the platform to a wider audience beyond celeb worship, but there is also the element of spam commenting on twitter (similar to the ‘you’re a stupid douchebag this video sucks’ comments on youtube) in realtime that can make it a bit like trying to listen to the news while roadworks are going on outside your window.

      The sooner the novelty of minutae of peoples every minute being documented no matter how mundae is dropped the more effective Twitter will become as a proper social news hub.

      The French and the internet is a strange beast. They still hung onto their mintel for so long and they’re not half as interested as being always connected as we are. Outside the big cities its nearly non existent. I guess the net really doesnt accomdate all their intricate facial and hand gestures and shoulder shrugs that are such an integral part to French debate.

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