Micro-blogging service Twitter has garnered itself the distinction of being the fastest-growing social network in the world after signing up an estimated 36% of all internet users – around 485m individuals.
The number of monthly active Twitter users has leaped by 40% in the second half of 2012 to reach 288m, enough to outpace both Facebook and Google which grew by 33.4% and 27.7% to hit 693.5m and 343m monthly users respectively.
The figures mean the site is on course to smash the half billion barrier according to digital research firm Global Web Index, which places Twitter outpacing both Facebook and Google+ for growth.
Twitter will be pleased with the stats which illustrate its success in driving user engagement, a key factor in striking advertising deals.
Some 59% of Twitter account holders are now active on a monthly basis, up from 50% in the first half of 2012, albeit half of this base is merely passive ie just reading content posted by others.