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Twitter more of a broadcast medium rather than social network?

Sections: Web, Web 2.0 / Social Networking, Websites

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Twitter is the one social network that we all love, or love to hate. A new study, however, seems to indicate that calling Twitter a true social network might be a bit wrong. Sure, there are some people who use it to keep in touch with friends and family, but it does seem that a lot of users don’t.

According to the Harvard study, 10% of all Twitter users generate about 90% of the content on Twitter. That number, while not entirely unsurprising is a bit worrisome to some. On most social networks the amount of content generated by the top users is about 30%, much lower than Twitter. However, when considering that Twitter has about 10 million users, most of whom only tweet a few times, it might not be all that surprising. When the median number of tweets is apparently 1, it’s no surprise that those who actually do tweet often provide the content. Compare the number of users to Facebook, which has over 200 million users most of whom are likely to provide a decent amount of content.

It could be that Twitter is more of a way to get information from Ashton Kutcher, CNN and TweetMeme more than a way to connect with people for most people. However, that might not be a terrible thing. Being able to respond to those top users, even if you don’t always get an @ reply could be worth it to many people. Or it could be that not everybody has such an interesting life, and doesn’t want to broadcast it to everyone. Either way, Twitter will continue to be used by many people regardless of how many studies and blog posts try to say it’s all just hype.

Read [BBC]

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