The UK Internet population has been tracking the progress of the recent London riots by visiting News and Media sites and Twitter.
According to Hitwise Experian study, the News and Media category saw a spike with a 14% increase in UK Internet visits between Monday 7 August and Tuesday 8 August. “BBC has been the biggest gainer of traffic, with a third of all visits either going to the BBC Homepage or the BBC News website. Sky News came second with 7% of all visits to the category,” Hitwise reports.
The search data is corroborated by the visit data in the chart below. The BBC saw a weekly uplift in traffic of 68% because of the rioting, whereas Sky News’ uplift was 240%.
“Twitter has benefited the most from traffic as a result of the unrest in London. According Hitwise report, “Twitter accounted for 1 in every 170 UK Internet visits yesterday; by our estimations there were over 3.4 million visits to the Twitter homepage from the UK population alone. To put that in context, Twitter received 15% more visits yesterday than it did around the super-injunctions scandal, the previous biggest spike in its UK history.”
“Somewhat unusually, the spike in traffic to Twitter was not repeated on other social media websites, especially Facebook. Looking at our postcode data helps to explain why this might be. Twitter is used widely across the UK but the most prolific Twitter users are located in London postcodes.”
“In the chart below you can see that five of the top 10 postcodes which over-index for Twitter usage are in London, including Enfield where the unrest started on Sunday. Internet users in the South East of London are 26% more likely to visit Twitter than the average member of the UK Internet population. By comparison, Facebook over-indexes in Northern cities such as Hull, Manchester, Doncaster and Blackburn,” Hitwise added.