10% Of Twitter Users Account For 90% Of Twitter Activity

A chart showing that 10% of Twitter users send 90% of Twitter messages

A new Harvard Business Review study reveals that the 10% of Twitter users account for over 90% of Twitter messages sent. That’s a more lopsided ratio than even Wikipedia, where 15% of editors account for 90% of all edits or social networks where the top 10% of most active users create 30% of all activity.

What’s it mean? Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski, who wrote up the study for HBR, conclude:

This implies that Twitter’s resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.

We think it also points to a large number of bored-user and spam accounts on the microblogging service. During the All Things D conference last week, Walt Mossberg said more than half of all Twitter users return to the site less than once a month. Likewise, the HBR report says half of Twitter users tweet less than once every 74 days and that among Twitter users, “the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one.”

The HBR report also looked at gender and came up with the following:

  • “Men have 15% more followers than women.”
  • “An average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman.”
  • “An average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman.”


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