If you are a normal internet surfer you may have realised that you now longer need to put www. in front of any website you visit. It doesn’t matter what browser you are using, you just need to put the sitename.com and you will be directed to the site.
That’s because there are two versions to a site, the www. version and the plain sitename.com version. In most cases both addresses point to the same site. That’s the end of the article for normal users.
If you are are a website developer however, Google Webmaster encourages you to set a preferred version of your site. a www. version or a sitename.com version when you submit it to the crawl bots and Google index. (I haven’t checked for Bing yet.) Of course both Google and Bing both prefer https:// protocols to be used as opposed to http:// because with an https:// certificate, there is an added layer of protection for the site’s users especially if they input sensitive information like usernames and passwords on your site.
Now for the interesting part I noticed. All Facebook sites (Whatsapp Instagram and Facebook.com) set the preferred version of their sites to www.sitename.com instead of just sitename.com which is shorter to type. All Google sites also use the www. version e.g. Youtube. Google plus etc. However another leading social network like Twitter instead opts to drop the www.
Twitter’s success rate has fallen and the company is currently in a bit of administrative turmoil. One of its particular problems is getting new users to sign up. Could it be that the classic interpretation of websites being preceeded by www. has something to do with this? It’s a far fetched theory without other supporting examples, (all the come to mind are Mashable.com ,Gawker.com, Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com but these are blogs sites and not SMNs.) It is still worth some investigation.