This morning, eConsultancy posted Twitter isn’t very social: study, a review of recent research from Yahoo, taking the position that Twitter is not a social network. In fact, they question if Twitter is more of a broadcast medium than a social medium.
The statistic circulating through Twitter (by the way, being shared between connections on Twitter, but I won’t belabor the point) is that 50% of all content consumed on Twitter is generated by only 20,000 users. The elite, the top 0.05% of twitter users, create 50% of all content consumed on Twitter. Sound impressive? It’s not.
Flip the statistic around. It takes 20,000 twitter accounts to create just HALF of the content consumed via Twitter. 20,000 accounts! In comparison, only 16 websites account for half of all US pageviews (data from Google Ad Planner). Broadcast networks account for nearly 30% of all television time (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc).
[Disclaimer: Yes, Google Ad Planner data is fundamentally flawed for an analysis like this because it excludes Google and other properties and it isn't designed to be a source of universal page view counts. I believe the real number of media properties that represent more than 50% of all US pages views is still less than 100.]
Twitter may not be a social network if Facebook or LinkedIn define social networking. However, it represents a monumental change in how information is shared and consumed. Every day, new connections are formed based on common interests instead of existing personal connections. In doing so, Twitter is the first major social media platform that doesn’t merely extend existing connections. Twitter creates brand new social connections.
Yes, there are a few loud voices on Twitter, and there are a few that only listen. But that is no different than most networking events. So make no mistake about it, Twitter is about sharing amongst connections. And in my book, that makes Twitter social media. Just maybe, the most revolutionary social media platform yet.
Twitter isn’t very social: study