Twitter Surpasses MySpace, Facebook Still King

Tweeters at Twitter headquarters will certainly tweet about this. The four-year-old social networking site overtook rival MySpace in unique visitors for the first time, becoming the No. 3 social networking site in the world, according to new data from marketing research firm comScore Inc. Signaling the room social networking sites still have to grow, though it ranked third among social networking sites, Twitter also ranked #50 in the list of top 50 properties overall, as examined by comScore.

At first glance, the numbers themselves don’t reveal anything seismic: Twitter had nearly 96 million unique visitors in August, compared to 95 million unique visitors for MySpace. What does stand out though is what looks to be an ongoing trend of growth for Twitter: the site grew by 76 percent from the same period last year, while MySpace dropped 17 percent during the same period.

All of that makes for a historic month for the company, coming in the same time frame as it unveiled a series of changes, from upgraded apps to targeted and promoted Tweets and a redesigned home page. The numbers news also comes at a good time for the company as it seeks to overcome negative publicity and security concerns stemming from the ‘Twitter worm’ that sent users’ accounts haywire.

Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner reports the site is growing by 370,000 accounts per day.

Buried beneath the triumph for Twitter is a setback for the seven-year-old social network pioneer MySpace, which held the top spot as early as 2008 but is now looking to reinvent itself. The company in August announced the first changes to the site’s privacy settings in two years and has been working to reinvent itself as a destination for music and entertainment, including a relaunch with an entirely new site design.

Both Twitter and MySpace are going to have to do a lot more Tweeting and reinventing if they hope to ever climb into the number one or two spots on the list. Both sites are dwarfed by Facebook, which grew a whopping 54 percent to 598 million unique visitors in August alone. In second place is Microsoft’s Windows Live Profile which had more than 140 million visitors, putting it closer to third-place Twitter than top gun Facebook.