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Twitter Launches Tweet Button; Publishers to Allocate Pixel Real Estate

Twitter has officially launched their Tweet Button - a natural move which will place them beside Facebook's like buttons... and across millions of pages on the web (soon to be on this blog!). The question is what happens to everything else? There is only so much space on each page and ultimately publishers will only devote real estate to those buttons that deliver the most traffic / engagement. Twitter and Facebook will clearly qualify - but who else? My favorite example is this post from Mashable which leaked the Tweet Button a couple days ago. The Tweet Button screenshot sits below the Facebook Like graph and beside Tweetmeme, Digg, and Facebook Share. Of course there are others: For instance, I use Apture and Disqus. And more will come - like Facebook's long rumored social bar.

Bitly + Twitter Has Driven 350,000 views to Youtube's JK Wedding

In less than a week, Youtube's hit video "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" has been viewed over seven million times (and nearly 1.5m times in the last 24 hours). So what does that look like on the real-time web? And how much traffic have and Twitter sent?

One of the reasons I love is because of its transparency and ability to deliver meaningful analytics. For a given URL, you can see a page's real time traffic, referrals and geographic usage (all of which originated with a Bitly URL).

350,000 of the JK Wedding's 7m views arrived from Bitly alone. That is 5% of the video's views.

jk-wedding-youtube Even as the video's virality slows down, that is still 25-50 clicks per minute:


And represented over half of the traffic. Facebook was only 20,000 visits (but the video of course can be embedded directly into Facebook - Bitly's normal use case on Facebook is through the Twitter app integration):


Proof enough that this video was a viral hit: it collected 5,000+ Diggs and over 800 retweets on Tweetmeme... and that is from a Youtube embed off (


Tweetmeme, Bitly, Retweets and Blog Comments

Even if a small change, it is telling that TechCrunch has added a Tweetmeme "retweet" counter to their homepage... directly beneath the comments counter (and visually more powerful). It is also telling that the reteweet numbers are often 5-10x the comments. twitter-techcrunch

I am not suggesting that either onsite comments are disappearing or less valuable that offsite comments (namely Twitter and Facebook) - but it is a powerful, fast-changing dynamic... and clearly publishers and brands need to understand, encourage and facilitate activity both on and off their domains. In this example, the TechCrunch post saw 10,000+ pageviews arrive from URLs:


Of course, as the conversation continues to become distributed, data and measurement become tougher to collect and mine. Danny Sullivan has two good, recent articles on how Twitter may be delivering 500%+ more traffic to your site than you currently believe.

- Is Twitter Sending You 500% To 1600% More Traffic Than You Might Think? - How Twitter Might Send Far More Traffic Than You Think

It is also important to remember that discussion and engagement themselves have great value... regardless of location and in ways measured beyond pageviews.

The Real-Time Web, Authority Filtering & CrunchUp Themes

Yesterday TechCrunch put on the "Real-Time CrunchUp" event to discuss what has been billed as the real-time web. Alongside several product demos and company launches, the most prominent discussion topics were: - Business models and opportunities (Ron Conway provided his ten ideas)

- Businesses vs. Features: are these products able to sustain themselves as companies or are they features within larger companies

- Is the real-time web just beginning or is the lifecycle relatively advanced? And what does this mean for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other big company's abilities to compete?

- Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Friendfeed and what each mean for openness, competition, user experience and, ultimately, the consumer

- Noise. A theme I have written much about: the real-time web is overwhelming. How do we filter the noise to arrive at what is most important and relevant. And does filtering mean that the web is no-longer real time? The last theme (noise) is most important to me because, as the real-time web becomes more popular (and it will), it becomes increasingly difficult to digest and decipher. This is where Facebook will have a major advantage (using the social graph and 'like' / commenting systems). It is also where Friendfeed has already done a great job by using activity, relevancy, social connections, etc to deliver the news that it considers most important:


Other companies that are well-positioned here (and that I have covered; click for coverage): - Tweetmeme - Bitly - Aardvark

And proof that filtering is especially critical for Twitter - even if, as many of the CrunchUp panelists argued, it delays the immediacy of the real-time web: beside the live-stream of the CrunchUp final panel was a Twitter widget displaying 'relevant' tweets (defined by hashtags). Spammers quickly and repeated followed. I added the below screenshot and blocked out the very graphic user icon:

Tweetmeme's Meteoric Rise Reveals Twitter's Search Issue

Techmeme has become one my primary navigational sources for daily reading / news (others include email, Google RSS, Facebook, NYTimes, TechCrunch, etc). Twitter isn't yet there because it is simply too noisy to be efficient.

Techmeme solves a specific need: revealing quality, trending content across a variety of blogs and news sources. That same need exists on Twitter... and it can be argued it is both a harder AND more important task (after all, there is more noise and less context).

Perhaps that is why Tweetmeme is surging: it solves an important need for an immensely popular service. And as Twitter grows, Tweetmeme becomes even more important, sources more content and services a larger community. According to Compete, Tweetmeme now reaches 3.6m monthly uniques - a hefty number by any measurement. Equally impressive though is that Tweetmeme's reach represents nearly 20% of Twitter's monthly uniques (19.7m). Furthermore, as Twitter's growth flattened from April to May, Tweetmeme's more than doubled (1.6m to 3.6m):

tweetmeme traffic

Is this to say that Tweetmeme is the perfect service? No.

It is important however because it demonstrates: - a glaring need / opportunity within Twitter (either for third parties or Twitter itself) - the difficulty that finding poses (both algorithmic search and social search)... particularly in Twitter's dynamic world of 140 characters - a clear demand from users (after all, Tweetmeme's monthly uniques are 20% of Twitter's!) - a threat for sites like Digg and Stumbleupon... which Tweetmeme (or Twitter itself) can effectively compete with - an opportunity for - which is sitting on a goldmine of data surrounding referrals and links