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According to Hitwise, after visiting Twitter, most users go to Google. Here are the websites that people visit after visiting Twitter:

hitwise twitter

What Hitwise does not mention is that most Twitter users don't even go to Twitter because they use tools like Twhirl, TweetDeck, or Tweetie to post on Twitter.

To get a more macro view of this, the following chart shows downstream visits by category. The dark blue bars are parent categories and the lighter blue bars and sub-categories. For example, Email Services is a sub-category of Computers and Internet.

hitwise twitter in depth

Twitter sent nearly 1 in 5 downstream visits to Social Networks and 1 in 5 to Entertainment websites in February. The top Social Networks visited after Twitter were, not surprisingly, Facebook and MySpace, followed by the Twitter Search page and YouTube. The top Entertainment websites were Twitpic, YouTube and Flickr. NewTeeVee did a nice post last week on the increase in visits to video sharing sites from Twitter and Facebook, likening these services to personal broadcasting tools.

Twitter clickstream comparison

So how does Twitter's clickstream profile compare with the likes of Google, Facebook and Email Services? The following chart compares downstream visits from Twitter to Google, Social Networks and Email Services.

twitter clickstream comparison

It appears that Twitter is being used as a social network and means of distributing content. This is by no means the only way it is being used - just one standout trend. Twitter.com's clickstream profile is much closer to a social network than to Search Engines or Email Services. Twitter's clickstream differs markedly from search engines in that relatively little traffic goes to retail websites and Education (i.e. Wikipedia). It is also different from Email in that less traffic goes to Dating websites and again, to retail and Business and Finance websites.

In other Twitter news, it seems search.twitter.com has surpassed blogsearch.google.com.

According to compete.com (an account is required to view this subdomain data), traffic to search.twitter.com tripled in the last six months. Meanwhile, Google Blog Search traffic is flat and, only until just recently, the same can be said for Technorati. More importantly, Twitter Search has just about eclipsed Google Blog Search. As of February, Twitter Search attracted 1.35 million users while Google Blog Search, which has been plagued by relevance issues, sits at 1.38 million users.

twitter search

Twitter's growth in search has been aided by its girth in the press. According to news volulme data from Daylife, Twitter's weekly media mentions rocketed from 2000 per week last year to nearly 8000 today.

twitter post volume

Source for the last part: micropersuasion.