Not all tweets are created equal – anyone who has spent even a small amount of time on Twitter can attest to that. I’m much less likely to care that you checked-in to the Rib Shack on Foursqaure than let’s say, a witty little 140-character quip about something Rick Santorum just said. But I’m stingy with who I follow, as I don’t want my Twitter feed to be infested with tweets that I barely gloss over in a desperate attempt to find something that even remotely interests me.
And it’s a good thing that I’m so selective. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, not a whole lot of what is out there is even worth my time.
They set up a website, populated by over 43,000 tweets. Then, they asked 1,443 Twitter users to judge the quality of said tweets. What they found was that only 36% of all tweets are “worth reading.”
Furthermore, only 39% were deemed “just OK.” The remaining percentage falls to tweets that simply weren’t worth reading (25%).
So barely over a third of tweets are really worth anyone’s attention. People are busy, and there’s no need to waste their time with boring tweets. I get that.
But when it comes to what kind of tweets are considered worth it versus not worth it, there are some surprises. For instance, self-promotion tweets (HEY!! We’re performing on April 30th in Phoenix, etc) were among the more popular tweets. Also, “conversation” tweets where a user retweets another user’s tweet, but with added commentary. I tend to like these types of tweets.
Unsurprisingly, the kind of tweets that respondents found most worth reading were random thoughts – you know, funny or interesting tidbits that seem to have appeared out of nowhere in someone’s brain. I can agree, these are my favorite kinds of tweets. On the flip side, tweets like “Good morning, world” (presence maintenance) were the least popular. 45% said those aren’t worth reading.
Sometimes, Twitter’s not as easy as it looks. And some people really don’t know how to tap its great potential. Going forward, just remember that nobody really wants to read about what you’re doing at this exact moment. Unless, of course, you’re a celebrity.[Via Washington Post]