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Twitter leapfrogs Facebook in US popularity table

Graeme Parton

The results of a new survey have revealed that Twitter is now more popular among young US internet users than its biggest rival , Facebook.

In the study, Piper Jaffray, a finance firm, questioned more than 8,500 teenagers about their social networking preferences. Of the respondents, 26 per cent chose Twitter, while 23 per cent went for Facebook. Instagram was also favoured by 23 per cent of those asked.

The research further proved that the three major platforms are still well ahead of the closest rivals. Four per cent of the teenagers prioritised their use of Tumblr, while just three per cent chose Google+ – representing a two per cent drop from last year.

The results come as Twitter prepares an initial public offering to the tune of $1 billion. While this is dwarfed by Facebook’s in 2012, it remains among the sector’s most significant.

Two of the researchers who worked on the report, Douglas Clinton and Gene Munster, said in a note to clients that they aren’t surprised at the news as the dominance has been shifting steadily over the past few years.

They went on to explain that despite Twitter moving out in front, Facebook still has more power in terms of making money, with Instagram proving to be a hugely successful weapon in its arsenal.

The experts described Instagram, which became part of Facebook’s repertoire only last year, as a “smart acquisition” and said the new plans to introduce advertising to the platform were likely to be a “catalyst” for Zuckerberg’s empire.

Businesses and marketers will no doubt be interested to see how the dominance of Twitter and Facebook has gone largely unchallenged. The rise of Instagram since it was bought out last year, however, does put a real emphasis on the importance of visual content.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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