Twitter traffic bounced up 8% from December to January, according to new comScore figures released today. The service drew 73.5 million unique visits worldwide last month compared to 65.2 million in December.

The uptick follows slow growth - and in some cases declines - in the final months of 2009, which caused speculation that interest in the microblogging service may have slipped in the face of competition from the likes of Facebook and Google Buzz. As a matter of perspective, Twitter still can boast year-over-year growth of more than 1,000%, as it had only 6 million unique visitors in January of last year.

Meanwhile, Twitter founder Biz Stone on his own Twitter feed boasted that the company now has more than 140 employees, a symbolic figure for the company as the service limits Tweets to 140 characters. Twitter had about 70 employees last July. VentureBeat reports some of these new hires include former Current TV strategist Robin Sloan and several developers. Twenty six open positions are advertised on the company's job board.

The bounce in traffic and the hiring spree point to the company's effort to innovate beyond its core product. The traffic increase can be attributed to adding in new features like ReTweeting, Twitter Lists, and improvements to user management. Fresh with so many new hires, not to mention an undisclosed funding round in September, expect Twitter to role out additional services in the months to come to maintain its momentum.


For more discussion on how services like Twitter are impacting the music industry, be sure to attend Billboard’s Music & Money Symposium, taking place March 4 in New York, where the Digital Now panel will address this very issue. Panelist include Cameo Carlson, Executive Vice President, Universal Motown Republic Group; Gina Bianchini, Co-founder and CEO, Ning; Paul Decoyer, SVP of Electronic Games and Music, MTV Networks; David Goodman, President, CBS Interactive Music Group; and David Hyman, CEO, MOG.