Twitter research: Less social, more one-way

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Interesting research over at Harvard Business School done by a student there shows that Twitter is not the social platform some have imagined. Rather people’s use of it resembles that of a one-to-many broadcasting platform. Men dominate, and both men and women are more likely to follow men than women. The synopsis is over here at HarvardBusiness.org. What this research really expressed for me is what’s wrong with the current Facebook design. The News Feed in Facebook used to be utterly fascinating. It had all manner of updates that people were making on the site. But now it’s given way to the status updates. That suits some people, but as this research shows, it’s more about the power users. The research on Twitter found that most people posted only once or less over a 74 day period, and that the top 10% of users produced 90% of the tweets. People have rejected out-of-hand Facebook’s previous redesigns, but they’ve always improved the site. This current one is less clear. In personal experience, I’m finding that I’m using Facebook a lot less these days, and as a rule, the News Feed is a lot less interesting than it used to be.