Twitter – only 20k Elite Users

Who Says What to Whom on Twitter – Yahoo Research via ReadWriteWeb

“Who says what to whom in what channel with what effect.” New research from Yahoo has taken a closer look at precisely that, finding that a very small fraction of Twitter users – just 20,000 “elite users” – generate about half of all tweets consumed.

The research finds that even though media outlets are by far the most active users on Twitter, only about 15% of tweets consumed by “ordinary users” are received directly from the media. In other words, users are paying attention to other sources of information or are receiving those tweets not directly from the media but as retweets.

The research finds “striking homophily with respect to attention: celebrities overwhelmingly pay attention to other celebrities, media actors pay attention to other media actors, and so on.
The one slight exception to this rule is that organizations pay more attention to bloggers than to themselves.” Bloggers, unlike those in other categories, are more likely to retweet information outside their own categories, reflecting the “characterization of bloggers as recyclers and filters of information.”

The researchers also looked at the content that was being tweeted, finding world news, U.S. news and sports news to be the most popular.
It also examined the different lifespans of content, finding that media-originated URLs tended to be short-lived, while content originated by bloggers tended to be “overrepresented among long-lived URLs.”

Click on the Link to download PDF View the electronic version of ’Twitter Flow Study‘.

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