February 3, 2012
Two Out of Every Three Tweets are not Worth Reading
Ever since it launched, Twitter has faced accusations that is merely the home of the self centered amongst society telling each other what they had for breakfast. New research by Carnegie Mellon, MIT and Georgia Tech lends some credence to this suggestion.
They’ve created a new website called Who Gives a Tweet?, which is a kind of hot or not for tweets. Users are asked to rate whether they found a tweet useful or not amongst the Twitter stream of the people they follow.
Over the course of the study, conducted during December and January, nearly 45,000 ratings were supplied by over 1,400 Twitter users.
The results are pretty damning. The users in the survey found just 36% of the tweets they read useful. 25% were actively disliked, whilst 39% produced a meh reaction.
“A well-received tweet is not all that common,” Michael Bernstein, a doctoral student at MIT who worked on the project, wrote in a blog post. “A significant amount of content is considered not worth reading, for a variety of reasons.”
Tweeting Room 101
So what kind of tweets did people hate the most? In no particular order, these tweets fell foul of users:
- Semi-private conversational tweets
- Mood related tweets
- Activity related tweets
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. The researchers also revealed some tweets that proved popular. These included:
- Asking questions of followers
- Linking to a story you wrote (ie self promotion)
9 ways to avoid annoying people with your Tweets
The researchers also offered some tips to help you avoid annoying people with your tweets:
- Don’t tweet old news
- Add your own thoughts
- Keep it simple (stupid)
- Don’t overdo Twitter shortcuts. RT and # is plenty
- Don’t tweet about your lunch
- Provide context to your tweets
- Don’t whine
- Provide tempting headlines
- If you’re a celeb – do try and be interesting
The study comes hot on the heels of research by MIT revealing 10 great ways to get retweets.
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