Whether Friends count more than followers

As you know I’ve been working on unfollowing more and more people over the past few weeks because I felt I was missing the tweets by those who want to participate actively with me. The consequence is that I’ve found twitter to be more sociable once more.

According to a recent article what I felt was the case has been demonstrated through research.

the number of total posts eventually saturates as a function of the number of followers. This implies that users with a large number of followers are not necessarily those with very large number of total posts.

Hence, the number of people a user actually communicates with eventually stops increasing while the number of followees can continue to grow indefinitely.

1. Twitter users have a very small number of friends compared to the number of followers and followees they declare. This implies the existence of two different networks: a very dense one made up of followers and followees, and a sparser and simpler network of actual friends. The latter proves to be a more influential network in driving Twitter usage since users with many actual friends tend to post more updates than users with few actual friends.

As this article implies and demonstrates there is no reason to follow thousands of people. What you should concentrate on instead is a small network of friends because by knowing that you can find them on the site it remains relevant. The more people you follow, and the more filtering you use the more you lose.

If you follow six thousand people on twitter but use tweetdeck to keep an eye on things those following you are going to realise you’re never seeing their output. As a result of this they will unfollow you. If you’re not social with them then why bother following you anymore?

Comments

  1. warzabidul

    You know me. I would rather read your blog and participate there, where it's not time sensitive rather than on twitter where people don't seem to have the time anymore.

    There is a mass migration of celebrities, especially English but I'm not sure that necessarily means more users. It just means more accounts for the time being. That's not a bad thing for twitter.

    I'm still on jaiku occasionaly bue because I find more tools that work with friendfeed it's more interesting to use that service at the moment.

    Thanks for the comment by the way.

  2. Alex Leonard

    I think the time sensitive point is a very valid one. Mico-blogs, whether twitter or Jaiku etc do not exactly lend themselves to 'catching up' and nor would you really want to, being that so much is relative to a particular moment in time.

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