By The Numbers: Twitter Vs. Facebook Vs. Google Buzz

Twitter caused a stir Monday when it lifted its curtain enough to show us how much activity the service is seeing currently, and how it’s grown since 2007. And while many reports talk about visits to flattening, Twitter’s own chart showing the number of tweets its users are publishing is staggering.


Twitter says it’s currently seeing about 50 million tweets per day, which breaks down to about 600 per second.

But how do those numbers compare to Facebook, the king of social networking, and Google Buzz, the new kid on the block?

In an early blog post published just two days after Buzz launched, Google reported that the service had already received nine million posts and comments, and an additional 200 posts per minute via mobile phones. For its part, Facebook has a statistics page that says its users post more than 60 million status updates per day. Let’s do the math and try to make the most even comparison we can out of all this.


  • Facebook status updates: 700 per second
  • Twitter tweets: 600 per second
  • Buzz posts: 55 per second

And compared to searches (see our postscript below)

  • Google: 34,000 searches per second
  • Yahoo: 3,200 searches per second
  • Bing: 927 searches per second

Some disclaimers are obviously in order here:

  • On Twitter, every post counts as a “tweet” no matter if it’s an original tweet, a comment from another user, a link being shared, a retweet, etc. All of those are rolled into one number.
  • Facebook’s number is only status updates. It doesn’t include comments from other users on someone’s status update, nor does it includes “likes” of a status update — both of which are popular activities on Facebook. More importantly, it also doesn’t include photos, links, notes, and all the other types of user activity that happen on Facebook.
  • Buzz was only two days old when Google published its numbers.

The difference in how all three social networking sites operate underscores the challenge in trying to compare activity levels. One suspects that, if Facebook provided specific numbers about comments, likes, photos, links, and so forth — i.e., more than just status updates — it would be significantly ahead of Twitter, despite the impressive growth in the numbers of tweets.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: What we search for on search engines can also be considered a form of updating (see Take That, Twitter: Google Hot Trends Integrated Into Google Search. So how does that measure up? I took comScore’s recent worldwide estimates for Google, Yahoo and Bing and did some division to come up with the figures below:

  • Google: 34,000 searches per second (2 million per minute; 121 million per hour; 3 billion per day; 88 billion per month, figures rounded)
  • Yahoo: 3,200 searches per second (194,000 per minute; 12 million per hour; 280 million per day; 8.4 billion per month, figures rounded)
  • Bing: 927 searches per second (56,000 per minute; 3 million per hour; 80 million per day; 2.4 billion per month, figures rounded)

NOTE: The Yahoo figure is actually 9 billion per day; Bing 4 billion. I’ll correct these shortly.

FYI, I did ask Google if they provided some official figures, bu they’d only say that each day there are more than 1 billion searches that happen on Google. That means at least 10,000 searches per second officially, at minimum.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Google: Buzz | Stats: Popularity | Top News | Twitter


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Lauryan Feijen

    I’m wondering how these stats are influenced by the fact that it’s possible to send tweets to Facebook or Buzz as status updates. Facebook would still have the biggest numbers, but I do believe a substantial amount of Facebook’s status updates is coming from Twitter (looking at my own Facebook friends that is..)

    Anyone has some numbers about that?

  • Vural

    Are Google Buzz numbers unique Google Buzz posts that are done on Google Buzz or do they include the posts that are updated since they user twitter accounts are connected to Google Buzz?

  • Matt McGee

    Those are both great points/questions, further showing why it’s so difficult to compare one service to another. I don’t know the answers to those questions, sorry to say. Would be nice to somehow compare the number of truly original posts/updates on each service, without all the cross-posting.

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