Game Over. Twitter Wins.

Josh Catone
Josh Catone

At the height of their notorious downtime woes many people were predicting the end of microblogging site Twitter. Users were understandably frustrated, and early adopters started looking for a replacement. FriendFeed was better. Plurk was better. was better. So said the pundits.

But with Twitter appearing to have solved most of their downtime issues, publicly available traffic stats suggest that the site is putting the kibosh on the competition as well.

According to Pingdom, Twitter’s uptime the past couple of months has been stellar. The site went from down 11.5 hours in July to down just 54 minutes last month. And has been down just 9 minutes so far in September. It even survived huge spikes in usage during Sen. Barack Obama’s and Gov. Sarah Palin’s speeches at their respective US political conventions a few weeks ago.

Blogger Louis Gray today compared Twitter to competitors using traffic data from Compete. What he found was that since Twitter has solved their uptime issues, the site has seen a spike in traffic growth. Meanwhile, competing services FriendFeed, Plurk, and have all seen their traffic fall from June or July highs or plateau.

It’s hard to argue that the downturn in traffic at Twitter’s competitors is seasonal or unrelated since Twitter has experienced such dramatic growth the last couple of months. And it all coincides with their drastically improved uptime.

It’s hard to bet against Twitter. They have 5 times more traffic than FriendFeed (according to Compete), and FriendFeed is generally viewed as their nearest competitor. In April, Mike Arrington said that downtime didn’t matter for Twitter because he needs Twitter more than Twitter needs him. This is the network effect at work. Twitter wins because everyone is already on Twitter, and now that their downtime isn’t an issue (knock on wood), nothing stands in their way. Except maybe Facebook, that is…