Companies using Twitter to aid their internet marketing efforts may be interested in new research which shows that the popularity of the social networking site is growing.

According to Hitwise, UK internet visits to Twitter have increased six-fold since the start of this year, making it the 50th most visited website in the UK last week.

Robin Goad, research director at the traffic monitoring firm, said the numbers would be even higher if they included visits to Twitter via mobile pones and third party applications.

However, the data also shows that 4.7 per cent of Twitter’s downstream traffic goes to websites in the shopping and classifieds category, compared to 13.9 per cent of Google’s traffic.

Google also sends more traffic to business and finance websites and those in the travel sector, suggesting that firms investing in web advertising may be wise to allocate more of their budgets to search engine marketing and optimisation, depending on the products and services they are offering.

Research carried out recently by The Nielsen Company revealed that 67 per cent of the global web users access social networks and blogs.

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