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UK Website Of The Year

Twitter is bigger than Facebook, claims executive Anthony Noto, despite fact rival has many more users

Published 18/09/2015

Twitter's shares have been dropping in value in recent months as investors worry that the site is unable to sign up new tweeters
Twitter's shares have been dropping in value in recent months as investors worry that the site is unable to sign up new tweeters

Twitter is bigger than Facebook, according to one of its bosses, despite the fact that many fewer people use it.

Facebook says that it has 1.49 billion users, which is about 20 per cent of the world’s population, and Twitter most recently reported only 316 million users. But those numbers are the wrong way of measuring how many people are using the site, according to its chief financial officer Anthony Noto.

Noto told a technology conference this week that the size of the site depends “on how you measure it”. It may be that it is actually used and seen by more people than the numbers suggested, he claimed.

“I often get the question from friends [who] are like, ‘You know Facebook has over a billion users,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, we have an audience, depending on how you measure it, that’s pretty comparable’,” Quartz reports Noto as saying. “But they only have that audience, they only have the 1.4 billion they report, there’s no other number.

“We have other audience numbers that no one talks about and when you add those up it’s a big number, in fact in some scenarios you could argue that it’s bigger.”

Twitter has been struggling to convince people that it will be able to sustain its fast growth, as its number of users' stagnates. The company's shares have been dropping in value in recent months as investors worry that the site is unable to sign up new tweeters.

Noto’s argument is one that Twitter has made before — that the question of how much it is being used is not just about how many people logged into it, but also about the number of people who see tweets on the site without having an account, or look at posts when they are embedded by other publications and websites.

Last year, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said that he didn’t “give a s***” about the number of users that the site has compared with Instagram, for similar reasons.

“If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it's pretty significant,” he said. “It's at least apples to oranges.

“Twitter is what we wanted it to be. It's this real-time information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter - important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter.”

Independent

Independent News Service

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