- 71% of all tweets produce no reaction "in the form of replies or retweets"
- 23% of all tweets solicit replies
- only 6% of all tweets produce a retweet
- 96.9% of replies and 92.4% of retweets happen within the first-hour
The study also looked at "All Tweets." While this sounds like a fair basis to pin their analysis on, we are all aware of certain companies and marketers who don't quite "get" twitter, and whose twitter stream is nothing but "Buy our Products" repeated every hour. These thousands (millions?) of tweets are included in the study sample. Is anybody other than the hucksters surprised that these tweets get no retweets or replies?
While it may not have been quite so democratic an approach, I would really expect that if the study were of "top tweeters" the number of replies and retweets would be far higher. The inclusion of twitter spam in the study skewed the data set to produce these results: Garbage in, garbage out.
The creators of the study, Sysomos, a "maker of social media analysis tools," seem distressed that retweets are so low (6%). Frankly, while it's really nice to when somebody is inspired to retweet something I've posted, I'm thrilled that 94% of what I see in the stream of tweets from my friends is original content. If somebody I follow does nothing but repost other people's content, why would I follow them?
Of course, Sysomos has a different point-of-view. They're selling their services: to "Identify and engage with key influencers to build relationships and buzz." In other words, they sell their clients retweets. My point-of-view is different: I'm only a lowly user of twitter.
And then there's the "shocking" news that most activity on a tweet happens within the first hour. Of course it does! Did anybody really think that a tweet had a shelf-life any longer than that? It's a conversation, and it's constantly moving on. Jump in when you can, and don't worry about catching up on what happened yesterday.
That Sysomos and others who think of twitter as nothing but an advertising tool are dismayed by the results of the survey does not surprise me. But Mashable should know better. They begin the article on the survey by saying, "[It] suggests that an overwhelming majority of our tweets fall on deaf ears," and concludes with, "Perhaps our tweets really are just pointless babble after all."
Think about all the chit-chat and small-talk you put up with during an average day. Pleasantries exchanged with co-workers, neighbors, the clerk at the grocery store, etc.. If 29% of that led to a measurable reaction (your being quoted, or a getting a memorable reply), you've had quite a productive day. Perhaps Mashable is just pointless babble?