Twitter and LinkedIn use different metrics to report activity on their sites, measuring monthly active users (MAUs) and monthly unique visitors (MUVs), respectively. This makes user growth comparisons between the two social networks difficult.
However, comScore tracked MUVs in the U.S. for a number of top Web properties, including Twitter and LinkedIn, and from this, we can get a sense of how their traffic (from those ages 18 and older) stacks up against one another:
- LinkedIn had 63.4 million adult MUVs from the U.S. in September 2013, an increase of 35% from one year ago.
- Twitter had 62.6 million adult MUVs from the U.S. in September 2013, an increase of 10% from one year ago.
So not only has LinkedIn surpassed Twitter for unique visitor traffic among adults in the U.S., but it is also growing at a much faster rate.
Keep in mind, comScore’s focus on Internet users ages 18 and older does not play to Twitter’s strengths. Twitter is favored by younger users, whereas LinkedIn is primarily used by adults.
Nonetheless, it’s an important side-by-side comparison of how two major social networks stack up in the U.S., where a substantial share of social media advertising is purchased. The snapshot among adult Internet users is also useful since many advertisers target this group because of their spending power.
comScore’s Vice President of Industry Analysis Andrew Lipsman told us they track site traffic using MUVs because it includes traffic from non-registered users and excludes visitors who register multiple accounts (thus duplicating the number of active users).
From an international standpoint, things look much brighter for Twitter, compared to LinkedIn. We know that Twitter is adding new international users at a faster rate than U.S. users. International MAUs grew 41% year-over-year in the third quarter, compared to 33% in the U.S., the company reported, and reached 232 million global MAUs.
In its third quarter earnings, LinkedIn reported 29% growth in global MUVs over the previous quarter. comScore’s data helps us pin some of that growth on the U.S. market. We attributed LinkedIn’s strong third quarter visitor growth and earnings to an uptick in mobile usage, as well as the success of LinkedIn’s Influencer program, which non-registered members/users can access. LinkedIn averaged 184 global MUVs in the third quarter.