Twitter Hype – Harvard Study

. June 9, 2009 . 0 Comments

Twitter remains the preserve of a few, despite the hype surrounding it, according to Harvard research.

Just 10% of Twitter users generate more than 90% of the content, a study of 300,000 users found.

Estimates suggest it now has more than 10 million users and is growing faster than any other social network.

The Harvard team found that more than half of all people using Twitter updated their page less than once every 74 days.

And most people only ever “tweet” once during their lifetime, the researchers found.

“Based on the numbers, Twitter is certainly not a service where everyone who has seen it has instantly loved it,” said Bill Heil, a graduate from Harvard Business School who carried out the work.

On a typical online social network, he said, the top 10% of users accounted for 30% of all production.

“This implies that Twitter’s resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network,” the team wrote in a blog post.

Twitter is a social networking website where people can post messages of up to 140 characters – known as tweets – that can be seen by other users who subscribe to their feed.

Its growth has been described as “explosive” and it has become the poster child of social networking sites, particularly among media companies.

“Twitter is a broadcast medium rather than an intimate conversation with friends”
Bill Heil

Recent figures from research firm Nielsen Online show that visitors to the site increased by 1,382%, from 475,000 to seven million, between February 2008 and February 2009

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