A study looking at the micro-blogging site Twitter found that a high proportion of the messages sent via this service can be classed as "Pointless Babble." The aim of the study from US-based market research firm Pear Analytics was to identify how people really use Twitter. The main assumption has been that it is predominantly used for self-promotion or to push a product or service. However, the data shows that this is not the case. Only 8.7% of all messages could be said to have "value" as they passed along news of interest.
The study was conducted by taking random samples from the Tweet stream every 30 minutes between certain times during weekdays for a two week period. The tweets were then categorized into six main areas of usage: News; Spam; Self-promotion; Pointless Babble; Conversational; and Pass-Along Value.
So who users Twitter? Demographic data from Quantcast.com carried out in earlier this year found Twitter reaches 27 million people per month in the US. Of these 55% are female and 43% are between 18 and 34. They also found that 1% of the addicts contribute 35% of the visits.
The results of the study showed that ‘Pointless Babble’ won with 40.55% of the total tweets captured; however, ‘Conversational’ was a very close second at 37.55%, and ‘Pass-Along Value’ was third at 8.7% of the tweets captured.
- 11:30am and Monday’s have the most frequent tweets with Pass-Along Value
- Spam seemed pretty consistent throughout the study, but luckily was second-to-last on frequency.
- News seemed heavier at 2:00p and on Tuesday’s
- Conversational tweets were high between 2:00 and 4:00p throughout the study, and heaviest on Tuesdays. Pear Analytics suggest that most people are busy on Monday catching up with work, so perhaps it takes until Tuesday to get into the swing of Twittering again.
The same study will be carried out every quarter to identify new trends in usage.
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