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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 31, 2011

Half of all Tweets generated by small group of 'elite' users

Despite the huge amounts of Tweets generated and shared on Twitter, just a small fraction of the micro-blogging platform's user base attracts attention, according to a new Yahoo Research study titled, "Who Says What to Whom on Twitter".

by Helen Leggatt

twitter logo.jpgTwitter, which turned five earlier this month, boasts one billion Tweets each week, an average of 140 million per day. Across the globe are 200 million users.

Yet recent research by Yahoo has found that the flow of information isn't quite as it seems. Far from being egalitarian, half of the content on Twitter is generated by a small group of 'elite' users - specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations.

And that group is small. Based on statistical analysis of 260 million Tweets, Yahoo estimates about 20,000, or 0.05% of Twitter's global user base.

Yahoo also reiterated what many already know, that Twitter is much less "social" a platform than the likes of Facebook.

According to the report, "The Twitter follower graph does not conform to the usual characteristics of social networks, which exhibit much higher reciprocity and far less skewed degree distributions, but instead resembles more the mixture of one-way mass communications and reciprocated interpersonal communications."

Tags: influence, social media, Twitter

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  • I guess it's not surprising that "super users" are sending out the majority of Tweets. Every industry/platform has its elite group that dominate the playing field. It will be interesting to see if Twitter stays on the mass communication track or gets more social.



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