Twitter users not so social after all

Twitter may be a fast-growing social network, but most of its 50 million accounts merely follow other users rather than posting their own messages. In fact, a whopping 73 percent of Twitter accounts have tweeted fewer than 10 times according to a new report from Barracuda Networks, a Web security company. It seems that Twitter is becoming more of news feed than a social network, said Paul Judge, author of the report and chief research officer at Barracuda. And that raises questions about its growth potential, as well as how the Internet phenomenon will make money. As of December 2009, only 21 percent of Twitter account holders were what Barracuda defines as “true users,” meaning someone who has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and has tweeted at least 10 times. That indicates that most Twitter users “came online to follow their favorite celebrities, not to interact with their buddies the way they would on Facebook or MySpace,” said Judge. The follow-only trend exploded when celebrities helped push the microblogging site into the mainstream during a six-month period that Barracuda calls Twitter’s “red carpet era.”


2 thoughts on “Twitter users not so social after all

  1. lylettep

    I agree entirely with your post I have long since observed that no real communication goes on on Twitter. Sometimes when you post it fells as if you are shouting to thousands of people who are all talking at the same time and no one is really listening.

    I love Twitter but I’m not so sure if it is as useful a communication tool as we perceive it to be.

    Sometimes I even fell burdened down by the whole follow me set up and I even wonder why I’m following any given number of people.

    It is hard to really vet everyone you follow on Twitter especially when you have 20 or more people following you every day and the “rule” to be a good Twitter buddy is to follow back.

    I guess like everything time will tell what the real future of Twitter will be.

    1. stevevirgin Post author

      Thanks for the great comment. I think ‘networks’ will form within networks – based around three simple concepts: ‘Sharing’ ‘Collaboration’ ‘Action.’ ‘Action’ will be the hardest to crystalise – and the hardest for everyone to believe in. It will be the most exciting and will be based around what is called ‘the plausible promise.’ In simple terms “If we unite around this ’cause’ and ‘do this’ – we can change that.” It might be making the buses run on time, fixing pot holes in your street. It might be twisting the arm of a regulator to ban something you don’t like. It might simply be a chat room for like minded people to exchange ideas and occasionally help each other.

      In conclusion, the ‘tools’ (Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc) are nothing more than that – they are ‘tools’ that facilitate change, group dynamics and activity (both good and occasionaly bad).

      This social media revolution is about behaviourial change not about the tools. We have to find ways to use what the IT geeks are giving us to make our lives and everyone else’s simpler and more rewarding. WE use social media and do not let social media use us.


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