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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social networkingtwitter

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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 News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?