30 September 2009

Twitter Study Reveals Interesting Results About Usage

(Social Media) posted by Ryan Kelly. We embarked on a study as to how people are using and consuming Twitter. Some felt it was their source of news and articles, others felt it was just a bunch of self-promotion with very few folks actually paying attention. But mostly, many people still perceive Twitter as just mindless babble of people telling you what they are doing minute-by-minute. So we took 2,000 tweets over a 2-week period and categorized them into 6 buckets: News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Pointless Babble, Conversational and Pass-Along Value. See also Twitter: "pointless babble" or peripheral awareness + social grooming? by danah boyd. Studies like this one by Pear Analytics drive me batty. They concluded that 40.55% of the tweets they coded are pointless babble; 37.55% are conversational; 8.7% have "pass along value"; 5.85% are self-promotional; 3.75% are spam; and ::gasp:: only 3.6% are news. Twitter - like many emergent genres of social media - is structured around networks of people interacting with people they know or find interesting. The vast majority of Twitter users are there to maintain social relations, keep up with friends and acquaintances, follow high-profile users, and otherwise connect. I vote that we stop dismissing Twitter just because the majority of people who are joining its ranks are there to be social.