With almost half a billion people signing up worldwide, Twitter is now the fastest growing social network in the world.

It is now thought that of the estimated 485 million internet users worldwide, 36% have a Twitter account.

In the second half of 2012, the number of Twitter account holders who use their account at least once a month grew to 288 million according to findings by the internet research company Global Web Index (GWI).

These new figures show that Twitter, which has been valued at $9bn (£5.7bn), is growing faster than both Facebook and Google+. In the same period in 2012, Google+ grew by 27.7% and Facebook by 33.4%.

The results show that Twitter and the microblogging site’s advertisers are successfully improving active engagement with 59% of users active on a monthly basis, up 9% from the first half of 2012.

People are now using Twitter as more than just a social service; many account holders use it as a tool and a source of discovery so that they can keep up with the latest news and trends.

If you are interested in starting a Twitter account or social media presence for your business, contact Infoserve on 0845 36 77 200 and find out about how we can help you.