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Twitter - Who Gives A Tweet? New Study


6 February 2012 at 12:07 pm
Staff Reporter
Tweeters may be able to choose who they follow on the social micro-blogging site, but according to a new study, they don’t always like what they see.


Staff Reporter | 6 February 2012 at 12:07 pm


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Twitter - Who Gives A Tweet? New Study
6 February 2012 at 12:07 pm
Flickr image:AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by @NickyColman

Tweeters may be able to choose who they follow on the social micro-blogging site, but according to a new study, they don’t always like what they see.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. have found that users think only a third of the tweets they receive are worthwhile.

They also found that other tweets are either so-so or, in one out of four cases, not worth reading at all.

The lead author of the study, Paul Andre and colleagues Michael Bernstein and Kurt Luther, created the website Who Gives a Tweet to collect user evaluations of tweets.

Andre argues that if it what is worth reading was better understood, tools could be designed for the presentation and filtering of Twitter content.

“It’s also possible that users are willing to tolerate unwanted content,” Andre said. “Some people may follow others out of social obligation. Others may dislike certain types of tweets, but value them in the aggregate as helping them keep track of people or issues.”

According to Twitter more than 200 million tweets are sent each day, yet most users get little feedback about the messages they send besides occasional retweets by followers.

World Vision Australia’s social media community manager, Joy Toose, says that World Vision’s social networks have “grown steadily” over the last few years, from about 20,000 to 170,000 people engaging with the charity online.

She says that tweets with statistics or quotes have received the best response for the organisation, particularly when they have been “surprising or confronting”.

“Our most shared tweet last year highlighted that the world spends more on soft drink than on foreign aid. Tweets like these capture attention and provide a link to more information for those who want to dig deeper,” Toose said.

Toose says that quality is essential to keeping Tweeters interested. “It’s important to identify what followers are looking for and meet those expectations,” she said.

“We’ve found that we need to go beyond talking exclusively about our own work and to tweet more broadly about key issues and debates affecting the development industry.

“We also try to be accessible and friendly, answering questions and thanking people who share our content. By taking this approach we’ve seen a growth in the number of core advocates, who repeatedly share our content to their networks.”
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