Track social traffic with new Twitter Web Analytics

Website owners can now see how their content is being shared, who's coming to their site and more

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
September 13, 2011
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Twitter announced Tuesday the launch of Web Analytics, a tool for website owners to see exactly how much traffic Twitter generates for their Web properties.

Specifically, owners will soon be able to track exactly how their website content is being shared across Twitter. Relatedly, Web Analytics will show how Twitter is helping to send users back to the website (in other words, how many users actually click the content being shared on Twitter). Finally, the new tool will also show how effective Tweet Button integration is serving the third-party site.

Web Analytics will be rolled out to “a small pilot group of partners” this week, with a full release following in the coming weeks.

Representatives at Twitter believe this to be a powerful first step toward drawing more valuable data from its site content and traffic, but it’s hardly the end.

Twitter Web Analytics represents the first fruits of Twitter’s acquisition of BackType, a Twitter analytics platform purchased back in July. At the time, BackType had boasted of analyzing 50 billion tweets, 10 billion links and 200 million accounts. And they had been in the process of building a real-time stream processing tool.

Now, they’re putting those skills to help Twitter directly.

“Twitter is a powerful platform for websites to share their content, and drive traffic and engagement,” writes Christopher Golda, formerly of BackType, on the Twitter Developers Blog. “However, people have struggled to accurately measure the amount of traffic Twitter is sending to their websites, in part because web analytics software hasn’t evolved as quickly as online sharing and social signals.”

The truth of that last statement can be affirmed simply by the fact that Twitter felt it needed to hire the team at a third-party company to help it pin down the value of its information network.

In addition to the launch of Twitter Web Analytics, the company announced today that the “Tweet” button, which launched last year, has been integrated into three million sites. That’s pretty impressive, especially considering that Facebook, a much larger social network, has only seen its social plugins integrated into 2.5 million sites.

It’s good times for Twitter, as the company just surpassed 100 million active users, with at least half of those logging into the site daily.

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