Half of Twitters content is produced by an elite group of 20,000 users on the service, even though the site now ropes in a billion tweets every week.
The study carried out by Yahoo Research has revealed that 50 per cent of the tweets made on the social networking site (in an eight month sample period) were produced by an "elite group" of 20,000 users.
The researchers said that they used Twitter lists to pick out these elite users, "specifically celebrities, bloggers, and representatives of media outlets and other formal organizations, and ordinary users."
The authors stated: "Based on this classification… a striking concentration of attention on Twitter - roughly 50 per cent of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users - where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed."
The study indictaes that these 20,000 elite tweeters make up less than 0.05 per cent of the social network's population - a lot less, by our reckoning (although the data was sampled a while back, most of it from the second half of 2009).i
The research shows that there is clearly a large segment of tweeting done by a very vocal and minuscule minority.
The report also stated that:"Within the population of elite users, attention is highly homophilous, with celebrities following celebrities, media following media, and bloggers following bloggers."
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