Did you know your Twitter behavior falls into one of six categories, depending on how you tweet?
A new study from the Pew Research Centre and the Social Media Research Foundation suggests that conversations on Twitter take distinct shape depending on how people reply to and interact with one another – and that most conversations can be categorized into one of six types.
The study examined how people discussed a political topic based on rigorous analysis of thousands of tweets. Researchers found that tweeters commonly form two distinct and separate, polarized crowds within political conversations – with the two groups (typically liberals and conservatives) mostly ignoring each other.
In the center of each group is usually a smaller group of influencers who lead the conversation. The URLs and hashtags used by each group are typically different from one another, with liberals pointing to mainstream news sources and conservatives focusing on conservative sources.
This Polarized Crowd represents one type of conversation on Twitter.
The second type of group on Twitter is dubbed the Tight Crowd: a group of highly interconnected people with few isolated participants, usually found in situations like conferences.
The third type of group identified is known as Brand Clusters, which focus on well-known products or popular subjects and results in a large group of fragmented participants.
The study’s fourth group is known as Community Clusters. Large, global news stories can form these, as a few hubs with their own audience, influencers and sources will develop around particular news outlets.
The fifth type of conversation on Twitter is Broadcast Network, where many people repeat what prominent sources say, again typically found around breaking news stories.
Lastly, the sixth group identified is the Support Network, which reflects customer service performed on Twitter and centers around one single account in the middle of a hub responding to otherwise disconnected users.
There is a lot of data in this study supporting the different conversation types, which you can find here: Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters.
(Speech bubble image via Shutterstock)
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