Twitter 'elite' send most tweets
Only a small elite group of elite Twitter users are generating half of the tweets shared on the service, according to new research.
Fifty per cent of all tweets read and shared on Twitter are generated by only 20,000 ‘elite’ users, despite there being more than 200 million registered accounts on the service.
Yahoo! researchers looked at 260 million tweets posted on Twitter between July 28, 2009 and March 8, 2010, and by using Twitter ‘lists’, were able to distinguish between elite users - specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations, and ordinary users.
“Based on this classification, we find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter - roughly 50pc of tweets consumed are generated by just 20,000 elite users- where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed,” a Yahoo! researcher said.
They added:” Information flows have not become egalitarian by any means."
The researchers also found that individuals on Twitter follow back far less than they're followed, making it a less ‘social’ platform than the likes of Facebook.
"The Twitter follower graph, in other words, does not conform to the usual characteristics of social networks, which exhibit much higher reciprocity and far less skewed degree distributions, but instead resembles more the mixture of one-way mass communications and reciprocated interpersonal communications," they explained.
Earlier this month Twitter turned five and revealed that one billion tweets are sent a week, with an average of 140 million being sent a day.
The site has over 200 million registered accounts but Twitter has not revealed how many of those are active.