Liz Pullen @nwjerseyliz Social Media Camp NYC June 2009
http://Twitter.com
Goal of Research Project <ul><li>To gain information about trends in social network use on Twitter by analyzing data, spec...
Sources of data on Most Followed  Twitter accounts (Top 1000) <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter Counter </li></ul>...
<ul><li>UNHCR Refugee News (@Refugees)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Soraya Durabi (@SorayaD)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>CDC Emergency ...
Facts about Suggested Users List <ul><li>Developed to help new users find people on the Twitter network to follow. </li></...
Default setting when you create  a new Twitter account
I’m new here. Who should I follow?
Impact of being added as a Suggested User
<ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Good Health (@GoodHealth)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Life (@Life)  S...
<ul><li>Cory Booker (@CoryBooker)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Jack Gray (@JackGrayCNN)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Rania Al Abdulah (@...
<ul><li>The Best @s (@BestAt)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Rob Riggle (@RobRiggle)  SU </li></ul><ul><li>Dwight Howard (@DwightHo...
<ul><li>Which users who are not on  </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter’s Suggested Users  </li></ul><ul><li>list experienced the  <...
<ul><li>Matthew Perry (@LangfordPerry) </li></ul><ul><li>Russell Simmons (@UncleRush) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Conrad (@La...
<ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Pink (@Pink) </li></ul><ul><li>Ben Stiller (@Ben_Stiller) [Faux...
<ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Pink (@Pink) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Conrad (@LaurenConrad) </...
<ul><li>David Archuleta (@DavidArchie) </li></ul><ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@Jtimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Billy Ray Cyru...
<ul><li>The Suggested Users accounts  </li></ul><ul><li>might be growing fast over one or  </li></ul><ul><li>two weeks but...
Composition of Twitter Top 500 (4/26/09-5/24/09)
<ul><li>During the four weeks of study,  all  </li></ul><ul><li>of the 228 Suggested Users who had </li></ul><ul><li>been ...
Composition of Twitter Top 100 (4/26/09-5/24/09)
<ul><li>Which accounts comprise the 6% of  </li></ul><ul><li>Top 100 Most Followed Users who  </li></ul><ul><li>don’t bene...
@StephenFry
@NotTinaFey
@TaylorSwift13
@MileyCyrus
@PerezHilton
@BarackObama
<ul><li>What can we learn about social  </li></ul><ul><li>network recommendations from the  </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested Us...
Recommendations have the greatest impact when: <ul><li>They come from a trusted or authoritative source. </li></ul><ul><li...
They are readily available.
Other observations <ul><li>Suggested User list has created some controversy because  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) of the enorm...
<ul><li>If promoting network growth among </li></ul><ul><li>new users and sustainability are the </li></ul><ul><li>goals, ...
What is Twitter? <ul><li>“ Twitter isn’t a social network, it is an information network,” Biz Stone. (The View, 4/09) </li...
Different Goals for Different Platforms <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network  Build an Audience/Br...
Different Strategies for Sustainability <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network  Develop reputable so...
Suggested User List: A Success or Failure? <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network  A success dependi...
People are seeking personal contact.
People are seeking acknowledgment.
Assessment <ul><li>Communication that goes in one direction is broadcasting, not conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>If users ...
Assessment <ul><li>Twitter might not be branding itself as a social network but that is how many people use it (i.e. #fixr...
Assessment <ul><li>Harvard Study (6/1/09) notes “specifically,  the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 9...
Questions for Future Work <ul><li>Might there be more lasting connections created if Twitter users submitted recommendatio...
Questions for Social Media Camp NYC <ul><li>If not personal opinion, what should be the basis of selecting Twitter’s Sugge...
Thank you! <ul><li>Liz Pullen </li></ul><ul><li>@nwjerseyliz </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://sp...
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The Power of Suggestion on Twitter

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The Power of Suggestion: Network Sustainability & Suggested User Recommendations on Twitter

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  1. 1. Liz Pullen @nwjerseyliz Social Media Camp NYC June 2009
  2. 2. http://Twitter.com
  3. 3. Goal of Research Project <ul><li>To gain information about trends in social network use on Twitter by analyzing data, specifically, changes in Follower numbers over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Why study Most Followed Users? </li></ul><ul><li>Not because they are inherently more important than regular users but because of data on them is more plentiful. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sources of data on Most Followed Twitter accounts (Top 1000) <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter Counter </li></ul><ul><li>Twitterholic </li></ul><ul><li>WeFollow </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>UNHCR Refugee News (@Refugees) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Soraya Durabi (@SorayaD) SU </li></ul><ul><li>CDC Emergency (@CDCEmergency) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew Perry (@LangfordPerry) </li></ul><ul><li>NFL (@NFL) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Kevin Nealon (@Kevin_Nealon) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Fantastico (@ShowDavida) SU </li></ul><ul><li>John Green (@RealJohnGreen) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Adam Wilson (@UWBCI) SU </li></ul><ul><li>MC Thumbtack (@ABigVictory) SU </li></ul><ul><li>SU =Twitter Suggested User </li></ul>
  6. 6. Facts about Suggested Users List <ul><li>Developed to help new users find people on the Twitter network to follow. </li></ul><ul><li>Available to Twitterers who use Twitter.com. </li></ul><ul><li>Initiated in early February, new people added weekly, process accelerated in early April. </li></ul><ul><li>Began with ~20 Suggested Users, over the duration of the study the list consisted of 228 accounts. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations based on preferences of Twitter staff members. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Default setting when you create a new Twitter account
  8. 8. I’m new here. Who should I follow?
  9. 9. Impact of being added as a Suggested User
  10. 10. <ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Good Health (@GoodHealth) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Life (@Life) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Counting Crows (@CountingCrows) SU </li></ul><ul><li>ExecTweets (@ExecTweets) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Wyclef Jean (@Wyclef) SU </li></ul><ul><li>White House (@WhiteHouse) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Joel Stein (@TheJoelStein) SU </li></ul><ul><li>iTunes Movie Trailers(@iTunesTrailers) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Roc4Life (@Roc4Life) SU </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Jack Gray (@JackGrayCNN) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Rania Al Abdulah (@QueenRania) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Moby (@TheLittleIdiot) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@KAJ33) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Roger Erik Tinch (@CineVegas) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Simmons (@SportsGuy33) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Next to Normal (@N2NBroadway) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Ausiello (@EWAusielloFiles) SU </li></ul><ul><li>John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) SU </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The Best @s (@BestAt) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Rob Riggle (@RobRiggle) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Dwight Howard (@DwightHoward) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Ethan Suplee (@EthanSuplee) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah Brown (@SarahBrown10) SU </li></ul><ul><li>John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. Sanjay Gupta (@SanjayGuptaCNN) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Bill Simmons (@SportsGuy33) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Moby (@TheLittleIdiot) SU </li></ul><ul><li>Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) SU </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Which users who are not on </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter’s Suggested Users </li></ul><ul><li>list experienced the </li></ul><ul><li>strongest, organic growth? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Matthew Perry (@LangfordPerry) </li></ul><ul><li>Russell Simmons (@UncleRush) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Conrad (@LaurenConrad) </li></ul><ul><li>Paris Hilton (@BabyGirlParis) </li></ul><ul><li>Timbaland (@Timbaland) </li></ul><ul><li>Brody Jenner (@BrodyJenner) </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Buscemi (@Steve_Buscemi) [Faux account] </li></ul><ul><li>Terrence J (@TerrenceJ106) </li></ul><ul><li>Trey Songz (@SongzYuuup) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren London (@MsLaurenLondon) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Pink (@Pink) </li></ul><ul><li>Ben Stiller (@Ben_Stiller) [Faux account] </li></ul><ul><li>Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar) </li></ul><ul><li>Paris Hilton (@BabyGirlParis) </li></ul><ul><li>Emily Osment (@EmilyOsment) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Conrad (@LaurenConrad) </li></ul><ul><li>Drizzy Drake (@DrakkarNoir) </li></ul><ul><li>Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew Perry (@LangfordPerry) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@JTimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Pink (@Pink) </li></ul><ul><li>Lauren Conrad (@LaurenConrad) </li></ul><ul><li>Katie Price/Jordan (@MissKatiePrice) </li></ul><ul><li>Paris Hilton (@BabyGirlParis) </li></ul><ul><li>Emily Osment (@EmilyOsment) </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Cuban (@MCuban) </li></ul><ul><li>Stephanie Pratt (@StephaniePratt) </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. Run (@RevRunWisdom) </li></ul><ul><li>Jordin Sparks (@TheRealJordin) </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>David Archuleta (@DavidArchie) </li></ul><ul><li>Justin Timberlake (@Jtimberlake) </li></ul><ul><li>Billy Ray Cyrus (@BillyRayCyrus) </li></ul><ul><li>Jordin Sparks (@TheRealJordin) </li></ul><ul><li>106 & Park (@106AndPark) </li></ul><ul><li>Emily Osment (@EmilyOsment) </li></ul><ul><li>Paris Hilton (@BabyGirlParis) </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Colbert (@StephenTColbert) [Faux account] </li></ul><ul><li>Kristen Stewart (@KristenStewart9) </li></ul><ul><li>Rev. Run (@RevRunWisdom) </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The Suggested Users accounts </li></ul><ul><li>might be growing fast over one or </li></ul><ul><li>two weeks but is account growth for </li></ul><ul><li>these users sustained? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Composition of Twitter Top 500 (4/26/09-5/24/09)
  20. 20. <ul><li>During the four weeks of study, all </li></ul><ul><li>of the 228 Suggested Users who had </li></ul><ul><li>been on the list at least two weeks </li></ul><ul><li>were on the Top 500 list of Most </li></ul><ul><li>Followed people on Twitter. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Composition of Twitter Top 100 (4/26/09-5/24/09)
  22. 22. <ul><li>Which accounts comprise the 6% of </li></ul><ul><li>Top 100 Most Followed Users who </li></ul><ul><li>don’t benefit from placement on </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter’s Suggested Users list? </li></ul>
  23. 23. @StephenFry
  24. 24. @NotTinaFey
  25. 25. @TaylorSwift13
  26. 26. @MileyCyrus
  27. 27. @PerezHilton
  28. 28. @BarackObama
  29. 29. <ul><li>What can we learn about social </li></ul><ul><li>network recommendations from the </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested Users list on Twitter? </li></ul>
  30. 30. Recommendations have the greatest impact when: <ul><li>They come from a trusted or authoritative source. </li></ul><ul><li>Users are new to a social network and are seeking to connect with others. </li></ul><ul><li>Choices are eclectic, representing a variety of fields rather than a narrow focus (i.e. only tech or media). </li></ul><ul><li>They are a mix of well-known and unfamiliar names. </li></ul>
  31. 31. They are readily available.
  32. 32. Other observations <ul><li>Suggested User list has created some controversy because </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) of the enormous growth in Follower numbers that comes with being selected. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) the list is subjective. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Celebrity helps but length of time on the list is more influential in determining growth in Follower numbers. </li></ul><ul><li>People trust the recommendations because they aren’t based on paid placement. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>If promoting network growth among </li></ul><ul><li>new users and sustainability are the </li></ul><ul><li>goals, is Twitter’s Suggested User </li></ul><ul><li>list a success or failure? </li></ul>
  34. 34. What is Twitter? <ul><li>“ Twitter isn’t a social network, it is an information network,” Biz Stone. (The View, 4/09) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We don't consider Twitter to be a social network. We don't consider it to be a micro-blog,&quot; Jack Dorsey said. &quot;It's a new way to communicate. (LA Times, 5/27/09) </li></ul>
  35. 35. Different Goals for Different Platforms <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network Build an Audience/Broadcast </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-blog Build a Readership/Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Build Relationships/ Conversation </li></ul>
  36. 36. Different Strategies for Sustainability <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network Develop reputable source of relevant information. </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-blog Have engaging writers who readily respond to readers’ comments. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Find ways for users to find each other and make connections. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Suggested User List: A Success or Failure? <ul><li>If Twitter is… </li></ul><ul><li>Information Network A success depending on the quality and regularity of posting by Suggested Users. </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-blog It varies according to responsiveness of Suggested User to followers (@replies). </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network A failure as very few lasting and reciprocal connections are created. </li></ul>
  38. 38. People are seeking personal contact.
  39. 39. People are seeking acknowledgment.
  40. 40. Assessment <ul><li>Communication that goes in one direction is broadcasting, not conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>If users are just seeking news alerts and celebrity updates, there are other sources for this information on the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>If no connections are formed between users, it is easy for users to leave & choose another medium for information. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Assessment <ul><li>Twitter might not be branding itself as a social network but that is how many people use it (i.e. #fixreplies complaints). </li></ul><ul><li>Without fostering ways to connect new & existing users, it is easy for newcomers to be unaware of the potential value that comes with participation on Twitter and for them to quit or become inactive. </li></ul>
  42. 42. Assessment <ul><li>Harvard Study (6/1/09) notes “specifically,  the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets.  On a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>If the primary value of Twitter for businesses is its search feature for your brand, then you want to hear from the widest possible selection of users as possible. For them to participate, they have to be integrated into the network. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Questions for Future Work <ul><li>Might there be more lasting connections created if Twitter users submitted recommendations for the list? </li></ul><ul><li>Do long-time users also explore Twitter’s Suggested Users list to look additional people to follow? </li></ul><ul><li>Do personal recommendations by users, like #FollowFriday, have a similar impact? </li></ul>
  44. 44. Questions for Social Media Camp NYC <ul><li>If not personal opinion, what should be the basis of selecting Twitter’s Suggested Users? Should only users who are willing to @reply be selected? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the best way you’ve found people to follow, professionally & personally? </li></ul><ul><li>If the goal is to create a durable, lasting & growing network with low attrition, what would be a better way to integrate new users? </li></ul>
  45. 45. Thank you! <ul><li>Liz Pullen </li></ul><ul><li>@nwjerseyliz </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>http://spiral-scratch.blogspot.com </li></ul>

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