Twitter, Friendfeed Growth Stalls For May; LinkedIn drops, Facebook Climbs 8.5%

It couldn’t last forever. According to website traffic tracker, unique visitors to rose less than 1.5 per cent, from 19,443,286 to 19,728,619.

(Click all charts to enlarge)

Facebook, meanwhile, gained over 8.5 per cent, boasting 113,014,638 visits in May, and further widened the gap over once-rival MySpace, which also saw minimal growth.

Indeed, Facebook was the only social networking platform that gained any considerable ground. Friendfeed was up marginally, Plurk dipped a little, and Linkedin dropped over 3 per cent.

Despite all the hype over Twitter – and to a lesser extent, Friendfeed – this chart gives you an indication of just how small all of these networks are compared to Facebook, which just marches on month after month.

What does all this mean for Twitter? Nothing, really – with the massive boost in traffic the site has seen in the last year, and particularly the last few months, a plateau is long overdue, and there’s nothing essentially to worry about unless growth continues to stall for the next couple of months, too. If that happens, then we may have a bit of a problem, particularly if you pay heed to Twitter’s well-documented drop-off rates.

Moreover, Twitter has to have a ceiling. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a Facebook, and isn’t ‘gimmicky’ enough to appeal to the teenage audience that makes up a huge chunk of that network – Twitter isn’t really the place for video, music, applications and things like that. You can use Twitter for those features, but it doesn’t provide the media rich experience of Facebook (or, to a lesser extent, MySpace).

Additionally, while the average age on Twitter of all users is encouragingly somewhere in the mid-to-late 30s, my parents don’t use Twitter. They don’t get it – they don’t want to get it. But they do use Facebook – I’m sure your folks do, too. Of course, whether this is actually a positive is very much up for debate. 😉

Meanwhile, this pause may give Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey a moment to reflect on whether they need to be chasing more people like you and me, instead of celebrities like Oprah and P. Diddy, if they want the platform to succeed.