University College London's Jeremy Dean has compiled a handy guide to current research into the social media phenom (and conduit of @justinbieber fever) that is Twitter. Among the highlights:
  • Most tweets (some 41%) can be characterized as "pointless babble," while only 4% can be considered actual news.
  • Twitter trends rarely last longer than a week and almost always trend one time only
  • The average (median) lifetime number of tweets for a single user is 1, while 10% of the users contribute 90% of the traffic
  • A 2010 study ("Understanding the psychological motives behind microblogging") found that highly extroverted participants use Twitter "to relieve their existential anxiety"
Pointless babble? Really? We would like to state for the record that we have derived hours of entertainment -- and education -- from our Twitter addiction. Which reminds us: it's been almost an hour since @JENNIWOWW has tried to sell us a diet formula supplement. We sure hope she's OK.

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Shocker! Most tweets pointless babble, existential angst a strong motivator