Twitter is 40% 'Pointless Babble.' Wait, that's it?

Surprising that the ratio of worthless posts to useful content isn't higher...

In a new study conducted by Pear Analytics of San Antonio Texas, approximately 40% of posts on Twitter can be described as "pointless babble." According to SFGate's "The Tech Chronicles," the study sampled the Twitter stream every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for 10 days. The sample of 2000 tweets were put into six categories:

40.55% "Pointless babble." Pear also defined these as the "'I am eating a sandwich' tweets."

37.55% "Conversational." Questions, polls, back and forth dialog in an almost instant message fashion.

8.7% "Pass along value." Re-tweets passed along from other Twitter members.

5.85% "Self promotion." Tweets about members' products, services, shows, or companies.

3.75% Spam.

3.60% News from mainstream media sources like CNN. It's pretty sad this is below the spam category.

It's an interesting study that while slightly depressing isn't all that surprising. I actually would have guessed the ratio of worthless posts to useful content would be even higher.

So let's just say, for the sake of argument, that if Pear took samples after 5 p.m. (to include the midnight party tweets), the "pointless babble" category would be increased 10%. Then, let's also say that a third of the "conversational" tweets are also pointless. In an online forum, that's a pretty safe estimation of off-topic posts that don't really add to the value of a thread. Then I'd guess that half of "pass along" tweets are worthless repeats too. How many "Michael Jackson died" posts did you read last month? Finally, Spam is something we could all live without. So in my logic, it is actually more like 71.17% of tweets that may as well be about sandwiches. Thoughts?

Hey, speaking of which, follow GeekTech on Twitter.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twittersocial networking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Keller

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?