As of Tuesday - Twitter, the popular microblogging service, had for the first time surpassed the market share of visits of the hit content aggregation site - Digg, according to a report by Hitwise. Twitter now stands at number 84 in its Computers and Internet category, one space up the chart from Digg.
Hitwise noted that the general rise of social media has fueled Twitter's recent success, with many users of the site coming from services like Facebook, or MySpace, whereas Digg's traffic comes in large part--38.8 percent last week--from Google.
A glance at a chart tracking the share of both services reveals that Twitter has been slowly, but steadily, gaining on Digg over the last few months, finally matching--and even passing--Digg last week. Hitwise said that as of the end of last week, Twitter was netting 0.021 percent of traffic in its Computers and Internets category, just a touch up from Digg's own 0.021 percent.
Yahoo's partnership with Intel for a Widget Channel has taken a step further up, following the release of a Widget Development Kit this week. The kit is available to third-party developers, advertisers, and content producers. In the spring, consumer electronics manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG Electronics, and VIZIO will release Internet-connected television sets to support Yahoo's Internet content.
Yahoo's Widget Engine is based on the Konfabulator widget platform for PCs. It has combined key attributes of the Internet, including openness, community, and personalization, with the power of television," Patrick Barry, VP of Connected TV Yahoo, said in a prepared statement. "By creating this revolutionary new Internet experience and combining our technology with the global distribution of major consumer electronics partners, we enable consumers to access the relevant information and content to enhance their television watching experience".
Yahoo's developers and those from eBay, MySpace, CBS, The New York Times, Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, Showtime, USA TODAY, and Twitter, among others, are involved in this new program.
More surprises from Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg and company keep springing new surprises in innovations. I wish open standards ruled the world, but Facebook Connect is so compelling that it can't be ignored. I'd like to see Data Portability prioritized a touch above full-blown privacy, but Facebook's relatively tame version of portability is getting real traction while others are stuck in the land of promises and proofs of concept.
Enhanced Life-streaming: the explosion of the news-feed powered Facebook to the experimental polling technology of FriendFeed, 2008 was a big year for the "Lifestream" - the technology of aggregating data from all your activities on different social networks around the web. No one summed it up better than Mark Krynsky in his Lifestream Blog post The Year in Life-streaming for 2008. In 2009, I'll be watching the parties above, but also MovableType's Motion, social media ping server Gnip, etc.
OpenID Gets More Support From Big Companies: Owing to the dominance of Facebook, Big companies will have incentive to give OpenID more support. MySpace, AOL, Yahoo - all have made meaningful moves to support OpenID before, but now that Facebook is clearly dominating them all, I expect to see these companies make bigger moves towards OpenID and other standards.
RealTime Integrations: New real-time web app launched that will integrate Twitter, FriendFeed & more in ways we never could have imagined. Google Chrome adds plugins...one of them is a Google plugin that lets you integrate Google Mail, Reader, & other Google products/services right into the browser.
What are your predictions? Let us know in the comments, so we can check who has gloating rights at the end of 2009!