When discussing the internet’s social media revolution, you can count on Twitter being mentioned. While Twitter may not be structured like, say, Facebook, Twitter is commonly thought of as an online social network.
But what if it really isn’t much like a social network at all, and what if the media sharing on Twitter isn’t very “social“? According to a study conducted by Yahoo Research, which looked at 260m tweets sent on Twitter between July 28, 2009 and March 8, 2010 containing bit.ly-shortened URLs, that seems to be the case.
A whopping 50% of all content consumed on Twitter is generated by only 20,000 users. This is no 80/20 rule: even if we assume that a significant number of Twitter accounts are dormant (which appears to be a valid assumption), a very, very small group of “elite” users (0.05% of all users by Yahoo Research’s calculation) is producing half of the content that gets consumed.
Although these elite users are not part of the traditional media, the researchers observe that “information flows have not become egalitarian by any means.”
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