Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

How Twitter Users Changed in 2010 [CHARTS]

16 Dec

Twitter signed on more than 100 million new users in 2010. As they get acclimated to the information network, significant changes in usage are bound to take place. That’s exactly what social media monitoring company Sysomos found when comparing Twitter usage in 2010 to 2009.

What stands out the most is that more Twitter users have much higher follower and following counts.

Twenty-one percent of Twitter users now follow more than 100 people — that’s up from 7% last year — and 16% now have more than 100 followers, according to Sysomos, which looked at over a billion tweets from 20 million users in 2010 and compared them against data gathered in 2009.

Twitter users in 2010 were much more likely to provide a bio (69%), detailed name (73%), location (82%) and website URL (44%) as part of their public profiles. All of those percentages are more than double what they were in 2009, which means the average Twitter user has become more comfortable with sharing personally identifiable information about themselves.

Sysomos also found that 80.6% of Twitter users have made fewer than 500 tweets, which likely points to the relative newbie status of the average Twitter user. Also noteworthy is that 22.5% of users are responsible for 90% of all tweets.

The report highlights other Twitter-related behaviors, including popular keywords in Twitter bios, and analyzes how the friend-to-follower ratio changes as follower and following counts increase. We’ve included a collection of charts from the Sysomos report below.

Twitter Stats 2010

Twitter Growth

Users with Bios

Users with Detailed Name

Users with Location

Users with Website URL

Change in Friends

Change in Followers

Follower to Friend Ratio

Friend to Follower Ratio

One Word Tag Cloud

Two Word Tag Cloud

Reviews: Twitter

More About: social media, stats, sysomos, twitter

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What’s Hot This Week in Social Media

09 Dec

What's Hot in Social Media

Welcome to this week’s edition of “What’s Hot in Social Media,” a series in which we revisit the week’s most popular stories concerning social networks.

We’re keeping our eye on five interesting developments this Thursday.

Hackers Take Down Visa, PayPal, MasterCard & More

A group of anonymous hackers took down a number of websites in the name of WikiLeaks for several hours Wednesday, including those of Visa, Mastercard, Swiss bank PostFinance, PayPal, Senator Joe Lieberman and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, all of which had recently terminated service with or criticized the organization in some way. All sites appear to be up and running at this time, although we’ve received word that attacks against Amazon and PayPal are currently being carried out.

Twitter Accused of Censoring WikiLeaks

Following numerous accusations that Twitter has been purposely keeping WikiLeaks and related terms out of its Trending Topics list, a spokesperson for the microblogging service issued a more thorough explanation of how Trending Topics are determined. In essence: Twitter favors novelty over popularity.

Facebook Unveils New Profiles

Facebook unveiled new profile pages late Sunday, just hours before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared on 60 Minutes.

Tumblr Struggles Under 24-Hour Outage

Popular blogging platform Tumblr returned to the web Tuesday after more than 24 hours offline during a planned maintenance gone awry. The exact reasons for the outage are unknown.

Disney Celebrates 100 Million Facebook Fans

The Walt Disney Company hit a major marketing milestone at around 8 p.m. PT Saturday night: 100 million Facebook Likes across its more than 200 official brand, property and character Pages.

Reviews: Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Wikileaks, pages

More About: disney, facebook, tumblr, twitter, wikileaks

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Facebook, Twitter and The Two Branches of Social Media [OP-ED]

11 Oct

Two Directions Sign

The Social Analyst is a column by Mashable Co-Editor Ben Parr, where he digs into social media trends and how they are affecting companies in the space.

There’s no disputing that Facebook is the poster child for social networking. It is the platform for building social connections online and keeping up to date with what’s happening in your social circle. It is one of the two most important platforms in social media.

The other one is Twitter. However, if you try to describe Twitter as a “social network” to anyone who works at the company, they’ll quickly correct you. Internally and externally, Twitter describes itself as an “information network.”

What exactly is the difference? And is there one?

People have used the terms “social media” and “social network” almost interchangeably over the years. It’s inaccurate to say that they’re the same thing, though. In fact, I argue that social networking is a branch of social media, and can itself be further broken down into two distinct branches — the social network and the information network.

It’s with this distinction that I attempt to explain the relationship between Facebook and Twitter, and why I believe they are not destined for a clash of the titans. Instead, they represent two different sides of the same coin.

The Difference Between Facebook and Twitter

It’s easy to see why most people think Facebook and Twitter are essentially the same. The core of their experiences focuses around profiles, relationships and a newsfeed. But if you dig a bit deeper, you realize that people use each platform for different purposes.

On Facebook, you’re supposed to connect with close friends. Becoming friends with someone means he or she gets to see your content, but you also get to see his or her content in return. On Twitter, that’s not the case: you choose what information you want to receive, and you have no obligation to follow anybody. Facebook emphasizes profiles and people, while Twitter emphasizes the actual content (in its case, tweets).

The result is that the stream of information is simply different on both services. You’re more likely to talk about personal issues, happy birthday wishes, gossip about a changed Facebook relationship status, and postings about parties on your Facebook News Feed. On Twitter, you’re more likely to find links and news, and you’re more likely to follow brands, news sources and other entities outside of your social graph. In fact, Twitter tells me that one out of every four tweets includes a link to some form of content.

There’s also interesting data from a team of Korean researchers suggesting that information sharing is fundamentally different on Twitter when compared to social networks. Their conclusion was that Twitter has “characteristics of news media” rather than characteristics of a social network.

In other words, Facebook and Twitter are different once you look past their social media roots. Now it’s time to define the difference between a social network and an information network.

Social Networks vs. Information Networks

This may seem obvious, but social networks are about your social networks. Specifically, the focus is on your friends, colleagues and personal connections. They are about sharing personal or professional experiences together. They are about keeping in touch with friends rather than discovering news or content. Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo, MySpace, hi5 and Orkut clearly fall under the “social networking” branch of social media.

The concept of an information network is a more recent phenomenon. Information networks are about leveraging different networks to distribute and consume information. While they may utilize an array social media tools in order to find, curate or deliver content, they focus less on what’s happening in your social graph and more on information you want. Twitter may be the best example of an information network, but YouTube (video), Flickr (photos) and Digg (news) are information networks as well.

Pretty much every social media platform has aspects of both types of networks, but they tend to fall into one category or the other. I contend that Foursquare is a social network because it utilizes Facebook’s friend model instead of Twitter’s follow model, but you might have a different opinion.

In fact, that may be the biggest differentiating point between social networks and information networks. For the most part, content on Flickr, YouTube or Twitter is public, while content on MySpace, Facebook or Bebo is private. A big reason for that is that the former services utilize the follow or subscription model, while the latter ones utilize the friend model.


I consider this article to be the start, not the end, of an exploration of how we define social media and the services that comprise it. We tend to group Facebook, Twitter and an array of other web tools into one giant pile, when in fact they’re vastly different tools with vastly different applications and uses.

Facebook, with its mutual friend connections and college-exclusive beginnings, is better suited for keeping in touch with friends. For most people, it is indeed a network of your social graph, all in one place. Twitter, on the other hand, is all about the stream of information coming from people and organizations all across the world. That’s why there’s room for both: they simply provide different functions.

If we are to take social media further and further change the world with social technologies, we need to better understand how we use these technologies. The first step is understanding how we as a society currently utilize social networks and information networks in our daily lives. There are many intricacies that underlie social and information networks, most of which we don’t yet understand.

More Social Media Resources from Mashable:

- 5 Fun and Safe Social Networks for Children
- New Facebook Groups Designed to Change the Way You Use Facebook [VIDEO]
- “SNL” Spoofs Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg [VIDEO]
- HOW TO: Customize Your Background for the New Twitter
- Top 10 Twitter Tips for Bands, By Bands

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, ryasick

Reviews: Bebo, Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Hi5, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, YouTube, iStockphoto

More About: Column, facebook, Information Network, Information Networking, social media, social network, social networking, The Social Analyst, twitter

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Twitter API Calls Doubled Since April: Now Serving 70,000 Every Second

16 Sep

TwitterHave you ever wondered how much traffic Twitter handles in a given day, or what software sits behind the curtain of the popular service?  A recent presentation reveals some of the answers. Twitter’s incredible growth becomes obvious when you compare the recent numbers to those announced at Chirp.

On September 9th, Twitter’s university recruiting team stopped by UC Berkeley to talk about the company and what it does. The slides from platform engineer Raffi Krikorian’s talk, Twitter by the Numbers, are now online, and they disclose some fascinating technical details about the social media giant’s operations.

Twitter serves over 70 million tweets per day, totaling over 12GB of tweet text alone.  Many of those messages are delivered to client apps and web sites through the Twitter API to the tune of six billion API calls per day (double what was announced at Chirp in April), or about 70,000 API calls per second.  All told, the service generates 8TB of data every day, which is eight times more than the New York Stock Exchange.

Pop quiz, engineers: Your web service needs to deliver real-time message traffic to an asymmetric digraph of over 150 million users.  What database do you use?  WHAT DATABASE DO YOU USE?

    • Shoot the hostage
    • Oracle
    • MySQL
    • Write your own database

      If you’re Twitter, the correct answer is #4:  Create your own database software, call it FlockDB, and release it on github.  (By the way, if you picked option 1, maybe software engineering isn’t the right career choice for you.)

      FlockDB is just one of the home-grown, high-performance software systems Twitter uses to support its tremendous growth.  Others include:

      • hosebird, a “near real-time” streaming API back-end (instead of REST, which is only “pseudo real-time”); and
      • snowflake (also on github), a network service to generate unique IDs at high scale (MySQL couldn’t keep up, and was a single point of failure).

      With a stated goal of supporting “half the world and all its devices,” Twitter faces many engineering challenges.  This peek under the hood (full slides are embedded below) shows that they’re aware of the potential problems, and are working hard to steer clear of the fail whale.

      Via Delyn Simons

      Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

      Twitter Twitter API Profile, 459 mashups


      YouTube CEO Offers “YouTube Instant” Creator a Job via Twitter

      10 Sep

      If you build an awesome web app, the job offers will come. At least that’s the story for one computer science student at Stanford University.

      Earlier today, Feross Aboukhadijeh launched a fun little app called YouTube Instant. It’s his take on Google Instant, the search engine’s real-time suggestion and prediction search upgrade.

      YouTube Instant is a relatively simple app that brings up different YouTube videos while you type. It “predicts” what you’re going to search for and brings up the latest or most popular video related to that subject.

      YouTube Instant quickly went viral on Hacker News, Twitter and the blogosphere. It also happened to catch the attention of Chad Hurley, the co-founder and CEO of YouTube. In fact, he was so impressed that he offered Aboukhadijeh a job.

      It started with a tweet from Hurley to Aboukhadijeh:

      Aboukhadijeh was quick to respond, asking whether it was a legitimate job offer:

      Hurley then made it clear that he’s serious:

      We can only imagine the back-and-forth DM conversations the two have had since. The moral of the story is this, though: if you build something cool, people will take notice. You could even get a job out or some funding out of it — who knows?

      Images courtesy of iStockphoto, sandoclr

      Reviews: Hacker News, Twitter, YouTube, iStockphoto

      More About: Chad Hurley, Google, trending, twitter, youtube, YouTube Instant

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      Twitter Mood Map of the United States

      22 Jul

      (YouTube Link)

      This time-lapse video shows the changing moods of people in America over the course of a day, as ascertained by emotional keywords that they use on Twitter. It was created by computer scientist Alan Mislove at Northeastern University in Boston:

      Mislove speculates that a signal shines though because the sheer abundance of data means that occasional misinterpretations are lost in the crowd. Bryan Routledge at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, agrees. With colleagues, he recently used a similarly simple analysis of words in tweets to determine whether Twitter mirrors conventional opinion polls. “The volume is massive, so the subtle stuff kind of washes out,” he says.

      Because Twitter data is publicly available, Routledge says mood can be sampled more quickly, simply and cheaply than using traditional polling tools – albeit more crudely.

      Steven Gray at University College London, who also crowdsources data through Twitter, agrees. For all of the problems with decoding the data, “Twitter offers researchers a unique, live data set that changes by the minute”, he says.

      Link via Geekosystem | Project Website | Previously: Tweet Sleeve: Wear Your Emotions on Your Sleeve


      The 28 Best Fictional Characters on Twitter

      22 Jul

      You can spice up your Twitter feed by following characters from movies, TV, and literature! Twitter is full of people who don’t exist, but have plenty to say anyway. Buzzfeed searched for the most entertaining of those feeds and listed them for your convenience. Link


      What Identities Are We Using to Sign in Around the Web? [INFOGRAPHIC]

      07 Jul

      The days of having a separate login and password for each online service we use are behind us. Now, you can log into most sites and services using your social network’s ID.

      The most popular social identities are Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter, but are they always being used in the same way? The infographic below, courtesy of social optimization platform Gigya, shows that users trust different identities on different services. For example, users are most likely to log on to entertainment sites via Facebook, but when it comes to news sites, the login of choice is Twitter. Furthermore, the infographic shows what profile data is available to services after users log in using various online identities.

      Check out a bigger version of the infographic here.

      Reviews: Facebook, Google, Twitter

      More About: facebook, gigya, Google, online identity, social networking, twitter, Yahoo

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      Just Tweet It – The Directory for Twitter Users

      07 Oct

      Just Tweet It was created to make it easier for people using the popular micro-blogging service Twitter to find other “Tweeters” with similar interests.

      All you need is a Twitter account to get started, then head over to Just Tweet It and add yourself to some categories and find others that share your interests, search for friends and keep up with the latest in your field.

      You can subscribe to the main Just Tweet It blog and/or the Directory Feed ! If you’d like to follow twitter updates you can follow @justtweetit.

      Designed and Created by Dani McDaniel and Adelle Charles.

      Related Posts

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      Twitter Me This: Our Favorite Fake Twitter Feeds [Twitter]

      07 Oct

      Is fake-Twittering the new fan fiction? We think so! It’s pithy, witty, and boundless in possibilities. Lately it seems like these micro-compositions are omnipresent: Pretty much every Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Batman character has a feed. But we’ve come to learn that some imitations are more potent than others. We've got 10 fab fauxs you need in your life, in no particular order.

      Michael Bay
      The Transformers director offers egomaniacal musings on vegan grub, explosives, and beach volleyball. What’s not to love?
      Soundbite: “Right now, I am combing my hair. Holy hell it's a breathtaking mane.”

      William Shatner
      Apparently the real Shat has started his own official Twitter feed, but we’ll always have a soft spot for his original, macho imitator.
      Soundbite: “Khhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannn!!!!! There. I said it. Happy?”

      Captain Picard
      Ooooh, it’s on! At the risk of mixing metaphors, thus far fake Jean-Luc Picard has secured the lead over fake former James T. Kirk in the wackadoodle division.
      Soundbite: “Captain’s Log: Did Horatio Hornblower ever have to put up with this?”

      Dr. Walter Bishop
      The brilliant/nutty doc from Fringe makes for bountiful fodder for satire in this more-creepy-than-deadpan offering.
      Soundbite: "When given the option I prefer human test subjects as opposed to animals, simply because humans can better describe the type of pain."

      Darth Vader
      Or as he’s come to be known: nerd comedy gold
      Soundbite: “Just realized I could totaly [sic] go SCUBA diving right now if I wanted to, no special equipment needed. It’s good to be me.”

      Bad Horse
      The Evil League of Evil leader riffs on villainy and reveals that he's a gadget hound.
      Soundbite: “Developing a new superweapon; gathering ingredients. Wondering if I should make this hoof-triggered or telepathically controlled. Decisions.” (Meanwhile, we’re eagerly waiting for his spitfire take on Harry Potter’s provocative turn in Broadway's Equus.)

      David Hasselhoff
      Oh, ex-Knight Rider. Why are you so easy to make fun of?
      Soundbite: “Deciding which leather jacket to wear.”

      The curious trials and tribulations of superherodom’s most muscular swimmer gets immortalized. In yo’ face, Michael Phelps.
      Soundbite: “Emergency over. Making some crab salad.”

      Buffy Summers
      The one-liners don’t even come near to rivaling Joss Whedon’s clever TV (or comic-book) scripting, but for sentimentality’s sake—and a quick Slayer fix—this will do.
      Soundbite: “Ok. Seriously: Nigerian Masks and Hawaiian Tiki dolls are never a good thing to bring into the house.”

      Zombie Attack
      Which zombie attack? Well, any of them. Here, the walking-dead genre is imagined in a rather gripping play by play.
      Soundbite: “I grab Greg and tear him away from the body. We run towards the exit as he tries to wipe the blood from his face.”

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