Jan. 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM ET
Though China may be obsessed with a state-sanctioned alternative to Twitter, the original microblogging site is on the rise nearly everywhere else. One tracker predicts it will cross the 500-million-user mark sometime next month.
Twopcharts has posted that not only are there about 13 new accounts registered per second on the ubiquitous short-message network, but that the ETA for the milestone will be around Feb. 19. The site recorded its 300-million-user milestone last May.
At present, there are 466,635,886 registered on Twitter. But of those, perhaps only around 100 million are active users, as Twitter itself admitted back in September.
Microblogging in whatever form seems to have struck a nerve with people. While Twitter is still a powerhouse, its Chinese doppelganger, Weibo, has just hit 200 million users. (Twitter is blocked in China.) Twitter hit 400 million monthly unique visitors in September.
Twitter is also muscling up its ad revenue with paid/promoted tweets, including political ads.
With Facebook predicted to ascend to one billion users, also in February, social media is only going to become more embedded in our lives, not less.