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Fastest Social Media Sites Ranked By Speed

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Software company SmartBear recently released the seventh installment of their quarterly Web Performance Index for Social Networks. It ranked which social media sites were the fastest and which were the most reliable in the third quarter of 2011.

The findings are based on data collected by SmartBear's AlertSite, which monitors the home pages of these five sites across 12 U.S. cities, collecting data every five minutes between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST.

To collect the data on social media speed SmartBear times how long it takes the website to load completely. According to PC Magazine, this includes "images, JavaScript, Flash, and third party objects." The sites availability depends on how often it loads completely in under 60 seconds.

Although it was slightly faster in the second quarter, the speed winner is the same social media behemoth that has taken home the top prize every quarter since SmartBear launched its performance index.

However, according to SmartBear, it's Twitter, the site ranked #4 in both rankings, that's the most interesting. Even though this micro-blogging platform "didn't win, place or show--and in fact, even dipped slightly in both website speed and availability," the fact that it was even close to the benchmark average is impressive. According to a post written by SmartBear's Gary Beerman for the company's official blog, this site experienced remarkably high levels of use four separate times in the third quarter. Wrote Beerman, "Once upon a time, such high traffic and tweet frequency likely would have taken Twitter offline and sent its availability for the quarter plummeting.

Check out our slideshow below to find out if your favorite social media site is wasting your time.

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