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"