A new study by Pear Analytics has declared that 40% of Twitter is nothing more than “pointless babble.” The Texas company sampled 6 hours of Tweets a day for 10 days, gathering 2000 total. They then analyzed them and placed them into the following categories:
- 40.55% were what they considered babble. This includes tweets such as “Having a beer” or “Bored at work.”
- 37.55% were considered conversational. This includes polls, tweets that are questions, and back and forth tweets between 2 or more people.
- 8.7% were re-tweets and links.
- 5.85% were self promotion tweets. This includes members tweeting about their latest blog post, podcast or companies.
- 3.75% were blatant spam.
- 3.60% were news tweets from media sources like CNN.
Now just how scientific is this study? I think it’s safe to say that what one person may consider conversational someone else may consider babble, and we all known there is a very fine line between self promotion and spam. One must also note that the samples were taken between 11am and 5pm. Had the samples been taken after 5 or on the weekend the results would likely be quite different. Maybe the study itself is somewhat pointless?
It is a little sad that there is more spam on Twitter than news. Twitter is supposed to be at the head of the new media class after all. However I don’t think they will get a passing grade until they get a real handle on their spam and security issues. The URL blocker they instituted is pretty much useless since all the bad guys have to do is use an URL shortening service like Bit.ly or TinyURL to hide their links.
If you’re a Twitter fan tell us what you think of the study and how you would categorize your newsfeed! I can safely say the majority of mine is conversational with some links and retweets and a bit of news. Thankfully, there is hardly any spam in the mix and I’ve yet to see a tweet I thought was pointless!