We are not tremendous Twitter fans — though we do use Twitter to Tweet you — and so we love the latest white paper from Pear Analytics describing how Twitter is more idle babble than active information sharing:

Here’s what Pear set out to do:

So we took 2,000 tweets from the public timeline (in English and in the US) over a 2-week period from 11:00a to 5:00p (CST) and captured tweets in half-hour increments. Then we categorized them into 6 buckets:

News, Spam, Self-Promotion, Pointless Babble, Conversational and Pass-Along Value.

So which bucket won biggest?

The results were interesting. As you may have guessed, Pointless Babble won with 40.55% of the total tweets captured; however, Conversational was a very close second at 37.55%, and Pass-Along Value was third (albeit a distant third) at 8.7% of the tweets captured.

Of course, the Tweetersphere was all atwitter over being analyzed as 41% “babblers” because nobody wants to think 140 character missives are anything less than grand journalism or great writing.

We think Twitter will find its quickened death — and so will Facebook and MySpace — as those social media networks age with the accelerated age range of their users.  Instead of being the keen, new, cutting edge place to hang out, the young trendsetters and early adopters will pioneer elsewhere as their parents and middling peers try to play catch up and integrate their lives into these live media streams that all the really cool kids have already left behind.


  1. I read somewhere that 10% of users account for 90% of the activity. That probably says something, too 🙂

  2. I remember reading something like that too, Gordon. The newest Twittery thing seems to be using a service like Mashable that will re-tweet stream topics you choose via your Twitter account. So you just set up Mashable to automatically fill up your stream with copied nonsense. What a lazy waste!
    There’s a service on Facebook that does the same sort of thing for status updates. You don’t write anything. The app inserts pre-existing pithy sayings into your updates and publishes them under your username. So. LAME!

  3. I think that’s right, Katha. Many of the people I see getting into Facebook now are over 40 and well into the second half of their lives. I’m not sure if Facebook is the right portal for them, though. It’ll do for now, unless and until something better and fresher and younger comes along!

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