Who Gives a Tweet?

by Nancy DuVergne Smith on April 24, 2012

in Media, Modern Geekhood

Click the image for the full graphic.

Click the image for the full graphic; click again for full size. Courtesy Who Gives a Tweet?/Huffington Post.

Twitter now counts more than 140 million active users who tweet 340 million times each day. Given that cascade of interest, does anyone know what actually gets read?

And the answer is yes—researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, and Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered what gets read and what does not. They set up a website, Who Gives a Tweet? and asked users to rate 10 different tweets as “Worth Reading,” “OK,” or “Not Worth Reading” in return for anonymous feedback on their own tweets

A Huffington Post article reported the results with a fabulous graphic:

“According to their results, Twitter users should stay away from sharing complaints, shallow opinions, or simple greetings like “Good morning!” In addition, tweets that are part of a personal conversation or simply explain what a user is doing at that current moment aren’t very appreciated by followers.

“Overall, the study showed that only 36% of tweets are worth reading, while 25% are not worth reading, and 39% are merely “okay.” The researchers commented on the low percentage of tweets worth reading, writing, “Given that users actively choose to follow these accounts, it is striking that so few of the tweets are actively liked.”

Read their research paper for the details.

Want to know more? Check out the work of the MIT lead, Michael Bernstein SM ’08, a PhD student at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab who works on computation with crowds—large groups of people connecting and coordinating online—to create systems that are powered by collective intelligence.

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